(ORDO NEWS) — For a long time, approximately since its discovery in 1930, Pluto was considered a full-fledged planet of the solar system, completing the four gas giants and representing the world of the Kuiper belt.
But in 2006, the International Astronomical Union stripped Pluto of planetary status, downgrading it to a “dwarf planet.”
This equated Pluto with such small bodies of the solar system as Ceres, Haumea, Makemake, Sedna and Eris…
Eris of Discord
The more astronomers studied the Kuiper belts, the more often they found massive trans-Neptunian objects there – bodies orbiting the Sun, whose average distance to the Sun is greater than that of Neptune.
On January 5, 2005, the object Eris was discovered, which, according to scientists, is larger than Pluto.
Astronomers began to lean towards the view that it is illogical to call Pluto the planet but not Eridu the planet.
And if there, in the Kuiper belt, tens or hundreds of objects larger than Pluto are found, then all of them will be given the status of planets? Or…
The decision was made to deprive Pluto of the status of a planet, so as not to give it to Eris and other objects that are likely to be discovered.
The new definitions of the terms “planet” and “dwarf planet” were carefully tailored to the known celestial bodies so that they all fell into the right categories and there were no inconsistencies.
Ironically, NASA’s New Horizons mission found:
- Eris is still smaller than Pluto
- Pluto has five moons and Eris has one
- Pluto has a relatively thick atmosphere, while Eris does not
- There are probably no objects larger than Pluto in the Kuiper belt
Thus, Pluto was deprived of the status of a planet by mistake, due to the insufficient amount of data that astronomers had!
Naturally, no one wants to admit the mistake, just as they don’t want to rewrite everything again, I return to Pluto the status of the planet that was stolen from it.
Contact us: [email protected]