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Thread: Is Pluto about to be reinstated as a planet?

  1. #91
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    [reads through whole thread] Wait a minute, is all the recent hype just the OLD hype being recycled, or is there something new coming?

  2. #92
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    I think some of the cites were to old news, like Alan Stern's IAU objections.

    My sense is what's new is this geology student and friends pushing for a geological definition, not one by the astronomers: Sad About Pluto? How about 110 Planets in the Solar System Instead?

    Their study – titled “A Geophysical Planet Definition“, which was recently made available on the Universities Space Research Association (USRA) website – addresses what the team sees as a need for a new definition that takes into account a planet’s geophysical properties.
    So it's not about overthrowing the IAU definition. It's not about reinstatement. Is he going to submit it to IAU?

    No. Because the assumption there is that the IAU has a corner on the market on what a definition is. We in the planetary science field don’t need the IAU definition.
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    Moderation. Modest proposal. modest = moderate (adj). heteronym: moderate (v). Sometimes I do these just for me.

  3. #93
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    Here is the proposal. Will take some time to look it over and comment later.

    http://www.hou.usra.edu/meetings/lpsc2017/pdf/1448.pdf

  4. #94
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    It looks like a proposal that recognises that the intrinsic properties of an object are at least interesting as what and where it orbits. The problem, for me, with "planet" is that current definitions don't characterise a class worthy of exclusive study. No, I don't know what to call the wider class.
    Last edited by agingjb; 2017-Feb-22 at 07:12 AM.

  5. #95
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    NASA is now officially on board with the movement to designate Pluto a full-fledged planet again:


    http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/n...gain/98187922/

  6. #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by rtroxel View Post
    NASA is now officially on board with the movement to designate Pluto a full-fledged planet again:


    http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/n...gain/98187922/
    Not sure about that. Alan Stern is not a NASA employee. And the article doesn't specify who his "colleagues" are. I wouldn't characterize this as "NASA is now officially on board".

  7. #97
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    Quote Originally Posted by rtroxel View Post
    NASA is now officially on board with the movement to designate Pluto a full-fledged planet again:

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/n...gain/98187922/
    And USA Today is just regurgitating the Gizmodo article: NASA Scientists Have a Plan to Make Pluto a Planet Again, and the Gizmodo article subsequently made a huge retraction:

    Correction: Kirby Runyon, first author on the new planet definition LPSC abstract, informs us that the proposal is not being submitted to the International Astronomical Union as has been reported elsewhere. The article has been updated to correct this error.
    Some reporting about this LPSC Geophysical proposal has been abysmal.

    It isn't about Alan Stern. It isn't about the IAU or the IAU definition. It isn't about NASA. And it's only 1% about Pluto.
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    Moderation. Modest proposal. modest = moderate (adj). heteronym: moderate (v). Sometimes I do these just for me.

  8. #98
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    For some reason this argument reminds me of the time we had a sixth Great Lake.

    http://www.nytimes.com/1998/03/07/us...reat-lake.html

  9. #99
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    Why it's the biggest little lake we've got !!!

  10. #100
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    Attempted embiggening, I'd say.

  11. #101
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    https://arxiv.org/pdf/1603.08614.pdf
    PROBABILISTIC FORECASTING OF THE MASSES AND RADII OF OTHER WORLDS
    Jingjing Chen and David Kipping (2017)

    The above very-new paper proposes a new system of organizing exoplanets such that there is no distinction made between dwarf planets and terrestrial ("terran") planets so long as they are round; no distinction between Neptune, Uranus, and Saturn except in size; and no distinction between Jupiter and brown dwarfs except in mass.

    Just felt like throwing gasoline on the fire,

  12. #102
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    Quote Originally Posted by agingjb View Post
    It looks like a proposal that recognises that the intrinsic properties of an object are at least interesting as what and where it orbits. The problem, for me, with "planet" is that current definitions don't characterise a class worthy of exclusive study. No, I don't know what to call the wider class.
    Perhaps the geologists and planetary scientists will embrace the concept of hierarchy, as in biological taxonomy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Roger E. Moore View Post
    Here is the proposal. Will take some time to look it over and comment later.

    http://www.hou.usra.edu/meetings/lpsc2017/pdf/1448.pdf

    I think the worst possible outcome would be for planetary scientists and astronomers to come up with contradictory categories for the same physical objects. This sort of contradictory nomenclature has happened.

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  13. #103
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    Upon hearing of this new proposal, a certain Bad Astronomer offered up his usual opinion.

    Bad Astronomy | Redefining planets: An answer in search of a question

    And therein lies my basic problem with all this. I’m OK with this new idea, but not if it’s called a definition! That may seem like semantics, but it’s important: Nature very rarely has vividly defined borders, even if we humans like to have them. But when we make them, they tend to be arbitrary, like defining “green”. And when you get near the borders, things get fuzzy, indeed.
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    Moderation. Modest proposal. modest = moderate (adj). heteronym: moderate (v). Sometimes I do these just for me.

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