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Thread: Pluto is a planet

  1. #1
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    Pluto is a planet

    All distinctions aside, Pluto is a planet because we say it is.

    It was discovered quite a bit back and remains a planet in our minds.

    It's "actual" class may be dwarf planet but can we agree that we just want it to be one of our planets?

    Also, why not just classify anything that receives less sunlight than Pluto as a Kuiper belt object regardless of size. Everybody is happy then, eh?

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    Creating another arbitrary classification division doesn't really help the problem, if there even is actually a problem.

    How do you feel about Ceres?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Amber Robot View Post
    How do you feel about Ceres?
    Planet!

    Sure, why not let it join the club? I go around the Sun too, so I'm a planet. Free planethood for everybody!
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

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    The IAU definition only applies to member astronomers. I you don't agree, roll your own.
    Et tu BAUT? Quantum mutatus ab illo.

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    Lmao, thanks to NoCN, I am closer to spelling Kuiper correctly.

    Make fun of me if you wish but we in the U.S.A. still use inches, feet, yards, and maybe cubits....

    We measure dry weight, I think, in odd ways. Where is the outcry? Pluto is a planet wether it fits the description or not because we are human beings with the power of choice and the choice is hands down for planethood even if it were to end up being an extremely extreme long period planetesimal...sue us.

    We let OJ get off, why not let Pluto be a planet? It never hurt anybody, eh?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hypmotoad View Post
    All distinctions aside, Pluto is a planet because we say it is.

    It was discovered quite a bit back and remains a planet in our minds.

    It's "actual" class may be dwarf planet but can we agree that we just want it to be one of our planets?

    Also, why not just classify anything that receives less sunlight than Pluto as a Kuiper belt object regardless of size. Everybody is happy then, eh?
    This isn't really a question (the last sentence is a rhetoric question) and so I'm moving this thread from Q&A to Astronomy.

    This also tends to be one of those topics that people get emotional about. Consider that a warning; any misbehaving will be infracted.
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    Not questioning your judgment, just curious as to why somebody would get emo about it? Oh well, thanks.

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    I have read that there are even more massive objects beyond Pluto, maybe they have moons of their own, but since we now realize that we might not ever see an end to these until we finally start seeing objects orbiting the Centauri system, let's just say we agree to agree that Pluto is the cutoff and anything else is just a cool discovery, eh?

    Clyde Tombaugh spent a lot of time and effort to find this so, IMO, should remain a planet. Even though I will lose zero sleep if never called one again.
    Last edited by Hypmotoad; 2015-Feb-20 at 06:27 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hypmotoad View Post
    ... just curious as to why somebody would get emo about it? Oh well, thanks.
    Well, for starters, you are here disagreeing with the group of astronomers that called it a dwarf planet. Why post something so obviously contrary unless you have an emotional connection to this?
    Forming opinions as we speak

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hypmotoad View Post
    Not questioning your judgment, just curious as to why somebody would get emo about it? Oh well, thanks.
    I'm not sure as to the individual whys and wherefores, but yes, I've seen people get pretty up in arms about it here and elsewhere.

    My personal vote is to grant Pluto the title of "Honorary Planet".
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

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    Pluto's status doesn't make a bit of difference to me, and I can't believe that I'm alone in that.

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    Pluto is a planet!
    Dip me in ink and toss me to the Poets.

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    Judging from the relative sizes of Pluto and Charon, the system looks more like a couple of planetismals that somehow managed to miss each other than a planet.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Squink View Post
    Judging from the relative sizes of Pluto and Charon, the system looks more like a couple of planetismals that somehow managed to miss each other than a planet.
    The current working hypothesis is that they were both coalesced from the debris of a collision, like the Earth/Moon system. If they were captured from a near-miss, we'd expect a more eccentric orbit around each other.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

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    Quote Originally Posted by DonM435 View Post
    Pluto's status doesn't make a bit of difference to me, and I can't believe that I'm alone in that.
    You and I make two. I can't imagine why anyone but professional astronomers would care, and even then, I can't see more than professional interest.
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    It's going to be fascinating as we learn more about Pluto and Charon. But how they're ultimately classified isn't a big deal.

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    From the Hubble pics of Ceres it looks to me like a mini-Mars.

    Pluto? Perhaps we can all agree that Pluto is indeed Micky's Dog.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spacedude View Post
    Pluto? Perhaps we can all agree that Pluto is indeed Micky's Dog.
    Dogs have recently been reclassified by the Kennel Club as "oversized cats".
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    Dogs have recently been reclassified by the Kennel Club as "oversized cats".
    I'm sorry, but such blatantly ATM ideas must be posted in the appropriate section of the Forum.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    I'm not sure as to the individual whys and wherefores, but yes, I've seen people get pretty up in arms about it here and elsewhere.

    My personal vote is to grant Pluto the title of "Honorary Planet".
    That's basically what "dwarf planet", its current status, means. Pluto, along with several others, have this status.

    Not long after the start of the Pluto planetary status debate began, my brother sent me a T-shirt that had the eight major planets sitting around a table eating while Pluto sat on the floor with a juice box and a kids meal. This isn't quite right because the reason why Pluto isn't sitting at the table is because there are a lot more "children" to be sitting at the "kids table" and those weren't on the T-shirt. If there really were only one, it might sit at the big table, as Pluto did for several decades. If you redrew the t-shirt with a dozen dwarf planets sitting at their own table, it wouldn't look so strange.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Amber Robot View Post
    That's basically what "dwarf planet", its current status, means. Pluto, along with several others, have this status.
    I meant a special title just for Pluto. Dwarf planet is too commonplace, it demotes Pluto to the same status as a big asteroid. As a "former" planet, it should have a status above the other dwarf planets.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    I meant a special title just for Pluto. Dwarf planet is too commonplace, it demotes Pluto to the same status as a big asteroid. As a "former" planet, it should have a status above the other dwarf planets.
    Why?

    Ceres is a former planet. Are you bothered that it doesn't have special status? Is this just a generational thing? Will our grandchildren care that Pluto was once called a "planet"?

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    I'm pasting below what I wrote in 2007 when I thought this debate had climaxed and we would not be hearing much more about it.

    Good science is far more than the memorizing of nomenclature, including lists of names of planets, that too many twentieth century fourth grade teachers seemed incapable of getting beyond. Nevertheless, far too many of their students have maintained a lifetime emotional attachment to those lists. Scientists are aided in their research and theory development by rational classification systems. In 2006 the International Astronomical Union wisely came to realize that the dynamical structure of the solar system requires that Pluto be placed into a class of objects other than that of the major planets. Its physical and orbital characteristics make it something different. It wasn't a demotion (Pluto is not a person); it was a reclassification. Unfortunately, some of those with emotional attachments to the name Pluto or a cartoon dog only want to hear of planet definitions that Pluto would fit. Science is better than that.

    It’s unfortunate that astronomers in 1930 failed to study more deeply the true nature of the little body they detected on photographs. Apparently some of them started to do just that, but when the media began declaring Pluto a planet, the astronomers directly involved became overcome with a false sense of pride and accepted the appellation. If they had considered the development of scientific understanding to be more important than becoming the “discoverer” of a planet, we may today be referring to the “Tombaugh” Belt rather than the Kuiper Belt. Our understanding of the origin, nature and evolution of the solar system could have progressed far more rapidly.

    In 1930 plenty of evidence regarding Pluto’s unusual nature was overlooked, disregarded or dismissed with delusional explanations. In future centuries the young lab assistant Tombaugh essentially will be forgotten, but astronomer Gerard Kuiper’s name will be immortal. “Discovering” a celestial body when assigned to examine photographs is an insignificant accomplishment compared with discovering a natural law or a general characteristic of the solar system. Too bad for Clyde; he needed to be more diligent, especially after he finally entered college and earned a degree in astronomy.

    Eventually the true nature of Pluto and its trans-neptunian siblings became better understood, resulting in a shortening of the list of major planets. Students went through a similar catharsis when nineteenth century astronomers eventually accepted that asteroids belonged in a separate class from the major planets, resulting in your great-great-great grandfather having to grudgingly forget that Ceres, Pallas, Vesta, etc. were major planets. You can do the same with Pluto.

    Please do not become the equivalent of a twenty-first century flat-earther and insist that lists memorized in grade school must be written in stone. Science moves onward and all of us can join in its intellectual development, as long as we choose to exercise our brains and avoid becoming stuck in mud.

    Below is a link to the paper by Steven Soter that provided the basis for the 2006 IAU ruling. In addition, the January 2007 issue of Scientific American had a feature article by Soter who provided a fine overview of the subject for laymen. You should be able to obtain a copy from the archives of your local public library.

    http://arxiv.org/ftp/astro-ph/papers/0608/0608359.pdf
    Last edited by Centaur; 2015-Feb-20 at 10:43 PM.
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amber Robot View Post
    Why?

    Ceres is a former planet. Are you bothered that it doesn't have special status? Is this just a generational thing? Will our grandchildren care that Pluto was once called a "planet"?
    It is for me. Pluto was a planet for my entire life, up until someone decided to change that. It's like changing the name of a primary color or the arrangement of the alphabet.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

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    Quote Originally Posted by Centaur View Post
    In addition, the January 2007 issue of Scientific American had a feature article by Soter who provided a fine overview of the subject for laymen. You should be able to obtain a copy from the archives of your local public library.
    I was able to find it online. It's a good read and I highly recommend it to those who wish to be educated on the topic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    It is for me. Pluto was a planet for my entire life, up until someone decided to change that. It's like changing the name of a primary color or the arrangement of the alphabet.
    Is it more important for Pluto to be called a planet than for you to understand why some think it shouldn't? You're probably also feeling bad about the loss of the Brontosaurus too, eh?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    It is for me. Pluto was a planet for my entire life, up until someone decided to change that. It's like changing the name of a primary color or the arrangement of the alphabet.
    Yep!!

    Or just to make a name for themselves ("I got Pluto demoted"). Boooo!!!
    Dip me in ink and toss me to the Poets.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Buttercup View Post
    Yep!!
    It'll probably end up being a planet only in the United States; like we use "English Units" and everyone else is on the Metric System.

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    What do you mean tomatoes are a fruit? They go in a salad along with cucumbers.

    OK; not really a good example because it wasn't a reclassification, but people don't want to know what they learned growing up is not the way it really is.

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    I grew up in Merseyside, I now live in Cheshire, but I still live in the same place, it really doesn't't matter. I just do not understand all the uproar.
    You're really not going to like it, the meaning of life the universe and everything is.... is.... 42!
    What??????
    is that all you have to show for 7.5 million years of work?????
    it was a tricky assignment.

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