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Author Topic: Should Pluto be re-established as an honorary planet?  (Read 1253 times)

Offline Alan McDougall

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Pluto

As an amateur astronomer, I would often try to imagine what that distant little world actually looked like, maybe it was but a featureless ball or frozen desert world, but the reality completely both surprised and amazed me, as to the almost unimaginable complex and beautiful this distant world proved to be, when the first photos were published all over the media.

The recent flyby and the amazing images of this unexpectedly beautiful complex little world, makes me feel we should really consider giving it the status of an honorary planet.

What are your thoughts on the matter?

Alan
« Last Edit: 17/07/2016 00:14:52 by chris »


 

Offline Atomic-S

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Arguably, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune should not be considered the same class of objects as Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, and certain others. That would require completely rethinking celestial terminology.
 

Offline Alan McDougall

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Arguably, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune should not be considered the same class of objects as Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, and certain others. That would require completely rethinking celestial terminology.

I don't think we should change anything other than giving back little Pluto its rightful place as one of the solar systems planets.

I know that is strict terms it does not qualify as a planet due to factors such as its orbital path is not being cleared of objects like a "True Planet is" .

But be kind to thousands of children that love Pluto and call it a planet, why not?
 

Offline evan_au

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Quote from: Alan McDougall
we should really consider giving [Pluto] the status of an honorary planet.
I heard that it still is, in the US state of Illinois, birthplace of Clyde Tombaugh, who discovered Pluto.
https://www.theguardian.com/science/blog/2009/mar/06/is-pluto-a-planet

Quote
be kind to thousands of children that love Pluto and call it a planet
I don't think it is a problem for children - they adapt rapidly to metric money, metric units and Pokemon Go!
It's just a problem for us old guys who are now out of date.
 

Offline Colin2B

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But be kind to thousands of children that love Pluto and call it a planet, why not?
I think those thousands of children are more likely to call Pluto a cartoon dog than a planet.
 
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Offline PmbPhy

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I think that it should be designated as a planet. Just because it's not that big as the other planets its big enough for the forces of gravity to shape it into a sphere. And since its not in the asteroid belt and has the orbit that a planet would have, to me it wreaks of being a planet. That's why I prefer it being called a planted. I was pissed off when Neil Degrasse Tyson worked to have it demoted.

So I'm with you my friend, I'm with you!
 

Offline Bored chemist

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Re: Should Pluto be re-established as an honorary planet?
« Reply #6 on: 17/07/2016 10:53:31 »
Can we go back to the days when Pluto was the lord of the underworld please?
Seriously, I don't think we need an more change- it's already confusing enough.
 

Offline syhprum

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Re: Should Pluto be re-established as an honorary planet?
« Reply #7 on: 17/07/2016 11:46:34 »
I think there are many things against it being regarded as a true planet, it orbits in an elliptical orbit that brings it closer than Neptune well outside the orbital plane of the other planets not to mention its small size
 

Offline PmbPhy

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Re: Should Pluto be re-established as an honorary planet?
« Reply #8 on: 17/07/2016 12:11:30 »
Quote from: syhprum
I think there are many things against it being regarded as a true planet, ....
Ouch! I'm afraid that I'm, going to have to ask you to be more specific than that. Just stating "I think ..." has always been something that made me cringe when it came to scientific discussions ... not that I'm claiming to be any better! Lol!!

Can you please try to recall as many of those things as you can, or at least describe in what sense than you're saying "I think ..." please?? Thank you.

Quote from: syhprum
... it orbits in an elliptical orbit that brings it closer than Neptune well outside the orbital plane of the other planets not to mention its small size
This is what I'm referring to. If its things like this then all you're saying is that Pluto's orbit has a different nature than the other planets and that reason is insufficient to not call it a planet. Think about the eccentricity of the orbits of the other planets and compare them to Pluto's orbit. I'm going to use the data from this webpage:
http://www.enchantedlearning.com/subjects/astronomy/glossary/Eccentricity.shtml

What you're referring to is the fact that Pluto's orbital eccentricity is 0.248 while that of Earth's is 0.017 meaning that Pluto's eccentricity is 14.5 times greater than Earth's. Then again Mercury's  eccentricity is 12 times that of Earth. But we don't use that to assert that Mercury isn't really a planet.
 

Offline chris

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Re: Should Pluto be re-established as an honorary planet?
« Reply #9 on: 17/07/2016 15:28:11 »
In microbiology we invent new names for old fashioned microbes all the time. This process of reclassification is all about accuracy, but it confuses the hell out of the rest of the medical fraternity. Then again, at least they think we're busier than they are, with all these new killer pathogens to discover and classify. Occasionally we disabuse them of the notion and admit that it's all the same old stuff under a new name...

The fact is that we name and classify things based on what we know at the time. As knowledge widens and understanding improves then occasionally we need to rethink the classification because we realise that we were too broad or too narrow previously. I'd say the same applies to terminology in space, just as it does here on Earth...
 

Offline pzkpfw

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Re: Should Pluto be re-established as an honorary planet?
« Reply #10 on: 17/07/2016 21:40:19 »
...
The recent flyby and the amazing images of this unexpectedly beautiful complex little world, makes me feel we should really consider giving it the status of an honorary planet.
...

How is "dwarf planet" so much worse than "honorary planet"?
 

Offline IAMREALITY

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Re: Should Pluto be re-established as an honorary planet?
« Reply #11 on: 18/07/2016 19:42:11 »
Experts met and discussed what the definition of a planet should be, and that's what they came up with, causing pluto to no longer meet the criteria.  Logically speaking, I really don't have a problem with the definition they came up with.  It actually kinda makes sense.  But I don't really think calling it a dwarf planet demotes it all that much, and like the other poster said isn't much different than a title of honorary planet.  Dwarf planet actually even sounds a bit more legitimate, to be honest.  So nah, it shouldn't be called an honorary planet any more than 2nd place should be called an honorary winner.  Just because it's a dwarf planet doesn't mean it still isn't worthy of respect, awe and admiration.
 

Offline evan_au

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Re: Should Pluto be re-established as an honorary planet?
« Reply #12 on: 18/07/2016 22:02:03 »
Maybe when we get a bit more data on planetary systems around other stars, we might need to demote the Solar System to a "dwarf planetary system"?

A lot of other planetary systems seem to be dominated by planets larger than Jupiter.
 

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Re: Should Pluto be re-established as an honorary planet?
« Reply #12 on: 18/07/2016 22:02:03 »

 

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