Should Pluto Be A Planet Again?

13 September, 2018, 19:16 | Author: Kelly Sanders
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Brown's planet-murdering research partner, Konstantin Batygin, also of Caltech, echoed many other scientists in calling for an end to the bickering about terminology in favor of focusing on objects' quantitative characteristics, like mass and orbit.

The study, revealed in the scientific journal Icarus, says Pluto never will fill to were downgraded from a planet to a dwarf planet 12 years previously. Why?

Pluto was officially declassified as a planet by the International Astronomical Union in August 2016, after the global group of astronomy experts updated the requirements of what makes a planet, adding a third criteria.

The definition agreed upon at that IAU meeting requires that an object meet three conditions to qualify as a planet: It must orbit the sun, it must be massive enough that its gravity pulls it more or less into a spherical shape, and it must clear the neighborhood around its orbit.

Reclassifying Pluto as a planet is akin to calling an island a continent- kinda silly. The author of the research paper, Philip Metzger, has reviewed the scientific literature and has identified a fundamental problem with the IAU definition of planets, which relies on the fact that a cleared orbit is the standard for distinguishing between asteroids and planets. And that was based on reasoning that went on to be disproven. On the contrary, many scientists in their work are called planets, objects that do not meet the definition of a MAS, including the major satellites of Saturn (Titan) and Jupiter (Europe).

When Pluto was discovered in 1930, it was the ninth planet in the solar system based on an overestimation of its size. Metzger argues that scientists already find it functionally useful to define Pluto as a planet in their research papers, despite this being contrary to the official IAU definition of planets.

What would be the ideal definition of a planet?

He added: "They didn't say what they meant by clearing their orbit. If you take that literally, then there are no planets, because no planet clears its orbit".

Metzger criticizes Lau's method of classifying what is and isn't a planet.


"It's more dynamic and alive than Mars", Metzger said.

Metzger explained that if it's large enough to get a spherica shape due to gravity, it deserves consideration as a full-sized planet.

The definition of a planet should be based on its intrinsic properties, the scientist said, as opposed to properties that can change, such as the dynamics of its orbit. Kuiper's definition makes the distinction between planets and things like asteroids - which, at one point in history, were inaccurately called planets.

How is a planet defined?

Metzger himself proposed a new way to classify a planet, notes the report. "It turns out this is an important milestone in the evolution of a planetary body because, apparently, when it [reaches a certain size] ... it initiates active geology in the body".

'It is therefore fallacious to apply the same reasoning to Pluto'.

Pluto, for instance, has an underground ocean, a multilayer atmosphere, organic compounds, evidence of ancient lakes and multiple moons, he said.

The IAU told Fox News that it has not yet received a formal proposal to change its definition of a planet.

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