Thursday, August 24, 2006

Pluto a Planet No More

IAU-PlanetVote- Planetary News | The Planetary Society

Gotta love the science.
"Pluto got the boot today when 2,500 astronomers from 75 countries at the International Astronomical Union (IAU) annual meeting in Prague voted on a resolution that aims to define exactly what a planet is.

What this means is that Pluto has been ejected from the planetary brotherhood. It is no longer considered a planet, but a dwarf planet. As a result, the solar system shrunk today by 1 planet, meaning that the solar system now consists of 8 recognized 'planets' Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune.

In short, a 'planet' is now defined as a celestial body that (a) is in orbit around the Sun, (b) has sufficient mass for its self-gravity to overcome rigid body forces so that it assumes a hydrostatic equilibrium (nearly round) shape, and (c) has cleared the neighborhood around its orbit"
And now we see once again how refining definitions to fit the data causes massive changes to the trivia of daily life.

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