‘Pluto Is A Planet’

Is Pluto a planet or not? Johns Hopkins University scientist Kirby Runyon has given this debate a fresh angle, saying: “Pluto has everything going on on its surface that you associate with a planet. There is nothing non-planet about it.”
Runyon (31), a doctoral candidate in planetary geology, wants to make one thing clear: regardless of what people say, Pluto is a planet.
Icy, rocky Pluto had been smallest of the nine planets; its diameter under three-quarters that of the moon and nearly one-fifth of the Earth. But the definition of planet approved by the International Astronomical Union in 2016 demoted Pluto to “non-planet”, thus dropping the consensus number of planets in our solar system from nine to eight.
However, Runyon and his co-authors argue for a definition of “planet” that focuses on the intrinsic qualities of the body itself, rather than external factors, such as its orbit or other objects around it. They define a planet as “a sub-stellar mass body that has never undergone nuclear fusion” and that has enough gravitational heft to maintain a roughly round shape.
Interestingly, the proposed new geophysical definition of planet omits stars, black holes, asteroids and meteorites, but includes much of everything else in our solar system. It would expand the number of planets from eight to approximately 110, including Jupiter’s moon “Europa”, as well as the Earth’s moon.
The draft of the proposed new definition of “planet” has been prepared by a group of six authors (from five institutions) under the leadership of Runyon. All of them are science team members on the New Horizons mission to Pluto, operated by the John Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory for NASA. In 2015, the New Horizons spacecraft became the first to fly by Pluto, some 4.67 billion miles from the Earth, passing within 8,000 miles and sending back the first close-up images ever made of Pluto.
Meanwhile, senior astronomer at the California Institute of Technology Mike Brown still believes that Pluto is not a planet. The renowned planet hunter, who wrote a book on Pluto’s ouster, titled: “How I Killed Pluto and Why It Had It Coming”, said: “This is really just a Pluto-nostalgia thing dressed up like science. The Pluto-huggers think this is their chance.”

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2 Comments

  1. Bom . Eu era verificação constantemente isto blog e Eu sou inspirou !
    Extremamente útil informação especialmente o final parte 🙂 Eu manter
    tais informação muito . Era procurando isto
    particular informações para um muito longas tempo.
    Obrigado e boa sorte .

    Like

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