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8 Planets


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#1 locally pwned

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Posted 24 August 2006 - 10:59 AM

don't know if anyone has been paying attention, but there has been debate within the International Astronomical Union about the definition of a 'planet.'

One argument called for the simplification of the meaning of 'planet' so it would include anything revolving around the sun that is large enough to have a round shape. The other side wanted a tighter definition of the word 'planet.' That's the side that won.

I guess in the end it's all semantics...but a more clear definition is a good thing, I think...especially with so many rocky bodies being discovered in the outer reaches of the solar system.

Personally, I have thought that Pluto should be demoted for a long time...the fact that it has such an eccentric orbit...and even more importantly, that it's orbit is not within the elliptic of the solar system should have been more than enough to keep it from becoming a planet in the first place. Again, not too big a deal I suppose, just a "loose end" to wrap up. Now if only the US would finally go metric... :thumbsup:

Edited by locally pwned, 24 August 2006 - 11:01 PM.

"The whole of science is nothing more than a refinement of everyday thinking." - Albert Einstein

"The world is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion." - Thomas Paine

"If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, we have at least to consider the possibility that we have a small aquatic bird of the family anatidae on our hands." - Douglas Adams

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#2 yano

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Posted 25 August 2006 - 08:33 AM

Personally I believe a planet should be any mass at least the size of Mercury, is round etc... and orbits the sun.

#3 Mr Alpha

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Posted 27 August 2006 - 08:12 AM

I believe the proper application of a death star could solve this once and for all.
"Anyone who cannot form a community with others, or who does not need to because he is self-sufficient [...] is either a beast or a god." Aristotle
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#4 frankie12

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Posted 29 August 2006 - 10:46 PM

I think that since pluto was a planet before it should be a planet now. I also can't believe that there is this big of a debate over a planet that there is barely any information on. I think they should wait to decide until the probe they launched a few years ago gets more info on pluto.

#5 rms4evr

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Posted 29 August 2006 - 11:10 PM

I think that since pluto was a planet before it should be a planet now. I also can't believe that there is this big of a debate over a planet that there is barely any information on. I think they should wait to decide until the probe they launched a few years ago gets more info on pluto.

I completly agree. Get the info before making a decision!!!

#6 yano

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Posted 30 August 2006 - 05:30 AM

Guess they forgot about the New Horizons space probe.

http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/New_Hori...Or_Not_999.html

#7 Mr Alpha

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Posted 30 August 2006 - 07:24 AM

I think you are missing the point here. You cannot have scientific discourse without clear precise definitions, that everybody has agreed upon beforehand.
"Anyone who cannot form a community with others, or who does not need to because he is self-sufficient [...] is either a beast or a god." Aristotle
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#8 phawgg

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Posted 30 August 2006 - 08:29 AM

being either the greek god of the underworld or a disney dawgg should have been our first clue that this
planet was going to cause trouble and deserves demotion. :thumbsup: I agree with applying a better definition.
patiently patrolling, plenty of persisant pests n' problems ...

#9 no one

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Posted 30 August 2006 - 08:32 AM

Excuse me while I whip this out....

"I'm embarrassed for astronomy. Less than 5 percent of the world's astronomers voted," said Alan Stern, leader of NASA's New Horizons mission to Pluto and a scientist at the Southwest Research Institute.

"This definition stinks, for technical reasons," Stern told Space.com. He expects the astronomy community to overturn the decision. Other astronomers criticized the definition as ambiguous.
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/14489259/


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#10 locally pwned

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Posted 30 August 2006 - 10:55 AM

Visiting Pluto, while interesting in and of itself, would shed no light on it's status as a planet.

The reason it was "demoted" is because most likely it did not form as the other planets did, in the proto-star disk in the early stages of the formation of the solar system.

We know this because Pluto's orbit does not lie within the plane of elliptic. Check this out:

Posted Image

Most likely Pluto formed with hundreds of other similar objects in the outer reaches of the solar system, had an extremely eccentric orbit, but was captured by the gravitational interaction of the sun and other planets.

It's orbit is still relatively eccentric; Pluto actually spends part of its orbit closer to the sun that Neptune.

Posted Image

It has even been suggested that Pluto was actually once a moon of one of the gas giants. After all, several moons are in fact larger than Pluto...such as Jupiter's moon Ganymede, Neptune's Triton, and Saturn's Titan.
"The whole of science is nothing more than a refinement of everyday thinking." - Albert Einstein

"The world is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion." - Thomas Paine

"If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, we have at least to consider the possibility that we have a small aquatic bird of the family anatidae on our hands." - Douglas Adams

#11 no one

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Posted 30 August 2006 - 02:26 PM

IMHO , the whole "Thing" is nothing more than an exericse in self importance as I'm sure most of the most vocal parties involved were tired of being "taken for granted" and wanted to shake things up by drawing attention to them selfs in the ruckus created by de-classifying a long standing Planet into a Non-Planet . Be it (Pluto) a TNO or a KBO in hard fact , Who Cares? :thumbsup: (other than the afore mentioned 5%) It has been a Planet this long ,let it be (Let it be , Let it be , Oh let it be....) I think they should concentrate on the truly important matters that affect Millions , nay, Billions every day, as to why do we drive on parkways and park on driveways?

"Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts."

"Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster"

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#12 Mr Alpha

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Posted 30 August 2006 - 03:29 PM

Well, presumably the astronomers care, or at least should. Besides we'd still be living in the dark ages if we just had focused on matters at hand, instead of reaching for the stars, so to speak. As you say, there are billions of us, so I think there are enough to both argue Pluto's status and figure out why apartments are called apartments when they are all stuck together. :thumbsup:
"Anyone who cannot form a community with others, or who does not need to because he is self-sufficient [...] is either a beast or a god." Aristotle
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#13 no one

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Posted 30 August 2006 - 07:05 PM

I'm not saying we shouldn't be interested in "things" way out there(How about that HST ? very cool, almost criminal that they're not going to update it), I'd just prefer my money was spent finding and tracking N.E.O s before they become O.E.O.s (On Earth Objects)
http://neo.jpl.nasa.gov/
if they figure out the "apartments" conundrum, they can look into, Why are they called "buildings", when they're already finished? Shouldn't they be called "builts"? :thumbsup:

Edited by no one, 30 August 2006 - 07:07 PM.

"Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts."

"Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster"

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#14 locally pwned

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Posted 31 August 2006 - 11:39 AM

There was an interesting analogy in an article in Discover magazine: what is the definition of 'continent?' To most of us it would probably mean something like "land mass." But Asia and Europe are only separated by an imaginary line. How big does a land mass have to be go from an "island" to a "continent?" Australia is a continent...but why not Greenland or Madagascar?

I am willing to bet that a narrow and precise definition of 'planet' is more useful to science than a broad, almost meaningless title.

One difficult aspect of science is accepting change. Generally, humans don't like change…especially when it comes to the way we view the world around us. When you've grown up learning about this or that...and suddenly a new discovery tosses your picture of the world into the trash...it's natural do defend the original view.

Buddhists believe that one should avoid attachments to material things; it has recently occurred to me that in a strikingly similar sense, critical thinking requires a detachment from ideas. If you believe a math problem will give you a certain answer but the calculations prove otherwise, you should re-check the numbers...but at some point, if a theory is debunked, you have to learn to let it die.

This may be easier said than done! Scientists have often faced this dilemma. Imagine spending your whole career formulating and then finding evidence to support a theory, only to have it dashed after decades of work. It would be difficult to simply shrug your shoulders and “head back to the drawing board.” Instead you'd most likely keep trying to salvage the theory...perhaps even to the point of re-interpreting facts in such a way as to "breath life" back into the theory. But at that point, you are no longer conducting science.

Einstein, perhaps the greatest physicist in history, could not accept quantum mechanics. “God doesn’t play dice,” he said, when confronted with the consequences Uncertainty Principle. Yet today quantum mechanics and general relativity are the pillars of modern physics. When the first theories on plate tectonics were being formulated, there were scientists who resisted. Even today, there are still a few scientists who have not accepted that humans are affecting climate change (not many; most of the world’s scientific community has concluded that human activity is at least partially responsible for global climate change).

Now, the designation of bodies orbiting the sun are not based on math equations. There's no ‘inescapable reasoning’ behind one title or another. But again, I am willing to bet that a more specific way to differentiate the "major planets" from the rest of the plethora of objects orbiting the sun is in fact a positive step. Is that not worth the ‘agony’ of accepting change?

Edited by locally pwned, 31 August 2006 - 11:43 AM.

"The whole of science is nothing more than a refinement of everyday thinking." - Albert Einstein

"The world is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion." - Thomas Paine

"If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, we have at least to consider the possibility that we have a small aquatic bird of the family anatidae on our hands." - Douglas Adams

#15 no one

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Posted 01 September 2006 - 06:16 PM

More from the continuing saga of "The Planet That Wouldn't Die..."

If you did not like Pluto's demotion, don't give up hope.

Arguments over the newly approved definition for "planet" are likely to continue at least until 2009, and astronomers say there is much that remains to be clarified and refined.

While it is entirely unclear if the definition could ever be altered enough to reinstate Pluto as a planet, astronomers clearly expect some changes.

In a statement today, the largest group of planetary scientists in the world offered lukewarm support for the definition, which was adopted last week by a vote of just a few hundred astronomers at the International Astronomical Union (IAU) General Assembly meeting in Prague.
http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/0608...definition.html


and I believe "they" prefer to be called "Little Planets"

"Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts."

"Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster"

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