What Status a Planet??

Discussion in 'Science & Society' started by Paisley Tie, Aug 27, 2006.

  1. Paisley Tie Registered Member

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    With the recent IAU decision to not classify Pluto as a planet, I was wondering what others might think of that decision, and the fact that less than 5% of members of the IAU were available for petition when the vote was announced at the recent IAU meeting in Geneva. See story

    Personally, I think it's a grossly unscientific assumption to place the Pluto-Charon binary into a newly created class of 'dwarf planets'. The accepted definition, which is certain to be over-ruled prior to 2009, would have practically any body which doesn't orbit Sol in the ecliptic declared a non-planet.
     
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  3. sderenzi Banned Banned

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    I think that Pluto is a planet. I mean basically it's been thought of like a planet, all literature has referred to it as a planet, to change it's classification now would really make almost all textbooks invalid. This leads to the question of just how much more data is meaningless, are all definitions just inherently made-up?!
     
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  5. Paisley Tie Registered Member

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    To be succinct about it, yes. I'd suggest all definitions are essentially that. Made up.
     
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  7. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    What makes you think it is certain to be overruled?

    What is the definition, by the way?
     
  8. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    sderenzi:

    Why? Because you read it in a book? Or what?
     
  9. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    I don't think it matters. Astronomers don't need labels to talk intelligently about heavenly bodies. And laymen will continue calling Pluto a planet just like they keep calling the bison a buffalo and the budgie a parakeet.
     
  10. Paisley Tie Registered Member

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    The resolution passed by less than 5% of IAU member astronomers reads:

    The ludicruous situation surrounding the Pluto question is that Pluto-Charon are not defined as planets, yet ARE defined as a binary. That is, each orbits a point in space between the two bodies, while that point of equilibrium orbits Sol off the ecliptic. There is insufficient information available to determine whether the binary meets or does not meet the requirements of the resolution. It appears that because it's just too hard, Pluto-Charon has been discarded. 2003 UB313, common but unaccepted name at this point in time, Xena appears to meet two of the three stipulations. Because of its distance and lack of other confirmatory data, it is unknown whether 2003 UB313 meets the third stipulation of having cleared the path of its orbit. Personally, I feel that stipulation to be too ridiculous for words, given the retinue of debris-like bodies Jupiter carts around with it.

    Why do I believe the resolution will be relatively short-lived? It's a veritable swiss cheese of contradictions and short-cuts.
     
  11. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    Are you an astronomer, Paisley Tie?
     
  12. Paisley Tie Registered Member

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    Amateur only with an avid interest
     
  13. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    I must say, it looks like a fairly sloppy definition, if that's all there is to it. Is the whole "clearing a space around its orbit" thing clearly defined, or not?

    I mean, clear what area of space? To what distance? It sounds vague to me.
     
  14. D'ster Registered Senior Member

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    James R, you just asked nine questions in a row.
     
  15. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    Questioning is a means of finding stuff out, D'ster.
     
  16. Pete It's not rocket surgery Registered Senior Member

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    Sloppy is right! There should have been some attachment that clearly defined the meaning. Perhaps it will be tacked on later?

    This paper is relevant:
    http://arxiv.org/ftp/astro-ph/papers/0608/0608359.pdf
     
  17. weed_eater_guy It ain't broke, don't fix it! Registered Senior Member

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    it's still an object of interest, that's all that's really important here, who cares what it's called
     
  18. certified psycho Beware of the Shockie Monkey Registered Senior Member

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    Pluto should be a planet and remain a planet.
    With the whole change there has to be a massive recall/change in textbooks, new crap to remember and lets not forget the mass of 3rd graders science project depending on Pluto on being a plant.
     
  19. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    Not all astronomers are happy about the status quo.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/5283956.stm

     

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