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Last Post 5/20/2015 6:31 AM by  Mitzi Adams
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5/18/2015 6:42 AM

    Sarah H

    Hello, What do you all think of the ongoing debate concerning Pluto? With New Horizons closing in for its flyby, and studying both it and its satellites, should Pluto regain its status as a "planet" or what? what do you think it should be....

    Tags: Pluto, New Horizons, classifiying planets

    Claire Raftery

    New Member

    New Member

    5/18/2015 9:49 AM
    I think that the only reason Pluto would be reinstated as a planet would be for sentimental reasons. There are so many Pluto-like bodies out there, that it would be impossible for them all to be planets (also, they break the rules for being a true planet). Therefore, I think it's easier for us to realize now that we made a mistake so in centuries to come, classifying planets vs other bodies will be more straightforward.

    Mitzi Adams

    Basic Member

    Basic Member

    5/20/2015 6:31 AM

    I am one of those who grew up in an age of nine planets, with an associated "mnemonic device" (a thing that helps you remember a thing) to help with remembering the names and order of the planets: "My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nine Pizzas". So my "feeling" about Pluto is certainly emotional, not scientific. If one examines the data however, Pluto does not fit very well with the rest of the "terrestrial" planets (Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars) and it certainly is not a gas what is it? The discovery of Eris and others beyond the orbit of Pluto, sealed Pluto's fate, I am afraid. But remember, this is not the first time that scientists have reworked their catalogue of planets of the solar system. In an 1899 article in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, there were 15 new planets reported to have been discovered in 1898, with Eros as a major one! Even at that time though, these were called "minor planets".

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