Sci-tech

Get Ready For The 100 Planet Solar System

Get Ready For The 100 Planet Solar System

Pluto's rebirth as a planet is not just all about Pluto, though. When the International Astronomical Union decided in 2006 that Pluto wasn't a planet, mother's menu changed from Nine Pizzas to Noodles (or Nachos, Nuts or Nabisco Shredded Wheat).

The paper was led by authors Kirby Runyon, a scientist from Johns Hopkins University, Michael Summers of George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, Tod Lauer of the National Optical Astronomy Observatory in Tucson, Arizona, S. Alan and Kelsi Singer of the Southwest Research Institute and Will Grundy of the Lowell Observatory in Arizona. Still, Pluto "as everything going on on its surface that you associate with a planet".

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Runyon claims that Pluto is a planet based on the definition and justification of what a real planet they proposed.

They define a planet as "a sub-stellar mass body that has never undergone nuclear fusion", that has enough gravitational heft to maintain a roughly round shape, even if it bulges at the equator because of a three-way squeeze of forces created by its gravity and the influence of both the sun and a nearby larger planet. The simpler definition would indeed make Pluto a planet again, as it would 110 other celestial bodies.

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Researchers argued in the past that IAU definition also excludes Earth, Mars, Jupiter and Neptune, which share their orbits with asteroids. "I want the public to fall in love with planetary exploration as I have", said Runyon.

So what is the likelihood of this new proposal taking hold and becoming the standard for how to define a planet? A newer, more accurate definition of what is and what is not a planet is needed.

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Now, scientists believe that "big" objects found in the Kuiper Belt as well as around the current planets should also be classified as planets, which would mean a drastic change for our solar system, which has remained relatively the same for most of its history. Runyon, who is finishing his doctorate this spring, thinks it would. And that can only be a good thing, right? "It drives home the point of continued exploration".