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View Full Version : A great planetary nomenclature suggestion



Tom Mazanec
2015-May-04, 04:19 PM
http://www.astronist.co.uk/astro_ev/_docs/Ashworth_planet_nomenclature.pdf

Grashtel
2015-May-05, 05:32 AM
How about rather than just a bare link you give a little explanation as to why we should read it? Like maybe why you think that its a great idea

Eclogite
2015-May-05, 06:34 AM
How about rather than just a bare link you give a little explanation as to why we should read it? Like maybe why you think that its a great ideaI would echo that thought, but I have noted that some forums are perfectly happy to accept simple links, with zero comment. Personally, it seems to rather defeat the notion of a discussion forum and barely misses being rude, but this is clearly not a universal view. I was encouraged to note I am not alone in my distaste for the practice.

Swift
2015-May-05, 05:10 PM
We do not have a specific rule against "bare links", but it is a practice that is frowned upon here. Tom Mazanec, you need to give some sort of explanation.

We do have rules against metadiscussions in-thread and do-it-yourself moderation. Please, no more comments about "bare links".

Amber Robot
2015-May-05, 05:41 PM
I'll help out Tom here:

The abstract reads:

When in 2006 the IAU General Assembly attempted to resolve the question of what may and
what may not be considered a planet, the result was the creation of a new class of Solar
System bodies called dwarf planets. But deficiencies in the definitions agreed on that
occasion will force the existing nomenclature to be revised. The application of the qualifying
adjectives giant, terrestrial and dwarf to planets is capable of being expanded into a
comprehensive system of binary classification which describes separately an object’s mass
over nine orders of magnitude and its type of orbit. Applying descriptive terms to specific
mass classes matches physical reality surprisingly well. Under this system, bodies such as
Pluto and Eris are still termed dwarf planets, but other qualifying terms are also made
available for greater precision and clarity in different contexts.

Solfe
2015-May-05, 07:09 PM
Well, I know what I am reading tonight. Nice find.

DonM435
2015-May-06, 03:41 PM
Interesting discussion about the present ("dwarf planet") philosophy, though I didn't detect an alternative in there that isn't just as confusing.

Hornblower
2015-May-06, 04:24 PM
Interesting discussion about the present ("dwarf planet") philosophy, though I didn't detect an alternative in there that isn't just as confusing.
Could you be specific about what you find confusing?

The challenge is to develop a classification scheme that also makes sense to moderately well-informed lay people.

Amber Robot
2015-May-06, 04:30 PM
The challenge is to develop a classification scheme that also makes sense to moderately well-informed lay people.

That may be challenging, but is it scientifically required? Look at the classification of plants and animals. That's pretty complex and may not always make sense to a lay person. I would think that what needs to be developed is a scientifically useful classification scheme.

Eclogite
2015-May-06, 06:45 PM
The main objection to the current system seems to be based on sentimentality. People liked having nine planets and they liked Pluto being one of them. That is certainly my main objection.

That said, the business of clearing debris out of ones orbit is too nebulous for me. (Was that a pun?)

Amber Robot
2015-May-06, 08:56 PM
The main objection to the current system seems to be based on sentimentality. People liked having nine planets and they liked Pluto being one of them. That is certainly my main objection.

That said, the business of clearing debris out of ones orbit is too nebulous for me. (Was that a pun?)

I think that what the criterion is supposed to be is the recognition that there's a difference between a solo "planet" and an object that is part of a distribution of similar objects sharing similar orbital parameters. Like when Ceres was demoted from planethood after it was found out that it was just the largest of a large population of asteroids, Pluto was demoted from planethood after it was found out that it was just one of the largest of a large population of Kuiper Belt objects. One way to quantify the difference is via this concept of "dynamical domination of an orbital zone".

DonM435
2015-May-06, 10:09 PM
Could you be specific about what you find confusing?

The challenge is to develop a classification scheme that also makes sense to moderately well-informed lay people.

If I could summarize it in a sentence, then it wouldn't be confusing to me! I'm not sure just how many adjectives the proposed system is suggesting for a given body

John Mendenhall
2015-May-07, 05:08 AM
The main objection to the current system seems to be based on sentimentality. People liked having nine planets and they liked Pluto being one of them. That is certainly my main objection.

That said, the business of clearing debris out of ones orbit is too nebulous for me. (Was that a pun?)

Yes, co-orbiting puns must be cleared out, too. They cloud thw issue.

Seriously, the issue needs re-examination. This is a good start. And no, I don't have a problem with Pluto's demotion.

Jens
2015-May-07, 09:44 AM
.

That said, the business of clearing debris out of ones orbit is too nebulous for me. (Was that a pun?)

Not that I can see. Though I do think it was quite a sweeping statement.

DonM435
2015-May-07, 02:57 PM
One planet's debris is another planet's ... planet!

Amber Robot
2015-May-07, 04:15 PM
If I could summarize it in a sentence, then it wouldn't be confusing to me! I'm not sure just how many adjectives the proposed system is suggesting for a given body

A planet is a massive object (i.e., hydrostatic equilibrium) that orbits a star and is not simply a large (or the largest) member of a population of objects sharing similar characteristics and orbits (e.g., asteroid belt, kuiper belt objects, trojan asteroids, etc.).

How's that?

DonM435
2015-May-07, 06:20 PM
A planet is a massive object (i.e., hydrostatic equilibrium) that orbits a star and is not simply a large (or the largest) member of a population of objects sharing similar characteristics and orbits (e.g., asteroid belt, kuiper belt objects, trojan asteroids, etc.).

How's that?

I could probably live with that. The article brings up terms like major, minor, dwarf, mid-giant, superterran, resonant, trojan, planetoid and so on, and I couldn't note any clear suggestion.

Amber Robot
2015-May-07, 08:37 PM
I could probably live with that. The article brings up terms like major, minor, dwarf, mid-giant, superterran, resonant, trojan, planetoid and so on, and I couldn't note any clear suggestion.

If those categories are appropriate it would be for scientific purposes only, not layperson purposes. I imagine that most laypersons don't follow the full hierarchy that is used for plants and animals and worries about the details described therein.