(ORDO NEWS) — It was the last day of the 2006 International Astronomical Union (IAU) conference that cost Pluto its planetary status.
It was originally planned to develop a uniform planetary definition with two criteria, but on the same day, another aspect was added to the so-called Resolution B5.
From now on, the planets must be celestial bodies that orbit a star, such as our Sun, and which, while not being a star itself, must have sufficient mass to assume a reasonably round shape under their own gravity.
In addition, they must keep the area around their orbit clear. In other words: the planet either throws objects that come too close to it into another orbit, or “swallows” them during the collision.
Pluto is not large enough for such activity, so it was called a dwarf planet, and in our system there were not nine planets, but eight.
Pluto’s Planet: There Are Always Doubts About the Appropriate Taxonomy
There are always scientists who want to restore Pluto’s planet status , and also want to declare other celestial bodies as planets.
This also includes a group led by American planetary explorer Philip Metzger, who has now published a paper on taxonomy related to the concept of planets.
A position that emerged from a five-year study: the definition of the planet has changed over the centuries, among other things, under the influence of a point of view that was hardly scientific, but rather more pragmatic.
Define planets differently: their number will increase significantly, including moons
Ultimately, the classification adopted by the IAU is partly based on “popular” concepts that were once adopted.
From a scientific point of view, this should be categorically rejected – if Metzger and his team say, then the so-called geological/geophysical taxonomy would be much more appropriate.
This approach will evaluate the planets not according to their environment, but according to their own intrinsic nature, and is based on considerations that have existed for centuries, such as the theories of Kepler and Galileo.
For example, in 2017 there was a corresponding proposal, according to which the planet would be “a body with a substellar mass that has never undergone nuclear fusion” and in hydrostatic equilibrium.
Applying this definition instead of the previous one would make the list of planets many times longer. About 150 objects will be included, according to Metzger, including, for example, numerous moons, as well as Pluto, which is classified as a dwarf planet.
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