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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-24-2006, 10:29 AM Thread Starter
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Bye bye Pluto...!!!



BREAKING NEWS: Pluto Demoted, No Longer a Planet

Robert Roy Britt
Senior Science Writer
SPACE.com2 hours, 23 minutes ago


Capping years of intense debate, astronomers resolved today to demote Pluto in a wholesale redefinition of planethood that is a victory of scientific reasoning over historic and cultural influences.


Pluto is no longer a planet.


"Pluto is dead," said Caltech researcher Mike Brown, who spoke with reporters via a teleconference while monitoring the vote. The decision also means a Pluto-sized object that Brown discovered will not be called a planet. "Pluto is not a planet. There are finally, officially, eight planets in the solar system."


The decision establishes three main categories of objects in our solar system.
Planets: The eight worlds from Mercury to Neptune. Dwarf Planets: Pluto and any other round object that "has not cleared the neighborhood around its orbit, and is not a satellite."

Small Solar System Bodies: All other objects orbiting the Sun.

Pluto and its moon Charon, which would both have been planets under the initial definition proposed Aug. 16, now get demoted because they are part of a sea of other objects that occupy the same region of space. Earth and the other eight large planets have, on the other hand, cleared broad swaths of space of any other large objects.


"Pluto is a dwarf planet by the ... definition and is recognized as the prototype of a new category of trans-Neptunian objects," states the approved resolution.
Dwarf planets are not planets under the definition, however.
"There will be hundreds of dwarf planets," Brown predicted. He has already found dozens that fit the category.


Contentious logic


The vote by members of the International Astronomical Union (IAU) came after eight days of contentious debate that involved four separate proposals at the group's meeting in Prague.


The initial proposal, hammered out by a group of seven astronomers, historians and authors, attempted to preserve Pluto as a planet but was widely criticized for diluting the meaning of the word.


The category of "dwarf planet" is expected to include dozens of round objects already discovered beyond Neptune. Ultimately, hundreds will probably be found, astronomers say.


The word "planet" originally described wanderers of the sky that moved against the relatively fixed background of star. Pluto, discovered in 1930, was at first thought to be larger than it is. It has an eccentric orbit that crosses the path of Neptune and also takes it well above and below the main plane of the solar system.


Recent discoveries of other round, icy object in Pluto's realm have led most astronomers to agree that the diminutive world should never have been termed a planet.


Astronomers have argued since the late 1990s, however, on whether to demote Pluto. Public support for Pluto has weighed heavily on the debate. Today's vote comes after a two-year effort by the IAU to develop a definition. An initial committee of astronomers failed for a year to do so, leading to the formation of the second committee whose proposed definition was then redefined for today's vote.


Astronomers at the IAU meeting debated the proposals right up to the moment of the vote.


Brown called the result scientifically a good decision.


"The public is not going to be excited by the fact that Pluto has been kicked out," Brown said. "But it's the right thing to do."





Editor's Note: This article will be updated later this morning.


The Debate at the IAU Meeting


Join the Discussion in Robert Roy Britt's Blog 3rd Proposal 'Shot Down in Flames' Details Emerge on Plan to Demote Pluto Pluto May Get Demoted After All One Astronomer Says 'It's All About the Atmosphere' Earth's Moon Could Become a Planet Public Laughs and Shrugs at 12-Planet Proposal Astronomers Sharply Divided on New Planet Definition Adding Planets Means New Textbooks, Toys Nine Planets Become 12 with Controversial New Definition Image Gallery: The 12 "Planets"

Defining Moments: The Saga's History


Pluto's Fate to be Decided by 'Scientific and Simple' Planet Definition JUNE: Definition of 'Planet' Expected in September 2005: Definition Debate: Planets May Soon Get Adjectives 2003: Controversial Proposal Would Boost Solar System's Planet Tally to 12 2000: What is a Planet? Debate Forces New Definition Original Story: BREAKING NEWS: Pluto Demoted, No Longer a Planet Visit SPACE.com and explore our huge collection of Space Pictures, Space Videos, Space Image of the Day, Hot Topics, Top 10s, Multimedia, Trivia, Voting and Amazing Images. Follow the latest developments in the search for life in our universe in our SETI: Search for Life section. Join the community, sign up for our free daily email newsletter, listen to our Podcasts, check out our RSS feeds and other Reader Favorites today!

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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-24-2006, 10:51 AM
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Maybe we can call him Licky.

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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-24-2006, 10:53 AM
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Good news for bargain hunters -- this is certain to lower property values.....

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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-24-2006, 03:02 PM
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http://images.google.com/imgres?imgu...w%3D1%26sa%3DN


June 22nd, 2006

Pluto has been considered a planet since its discovery, but this position has come under threat with the discovery of 2003 UB313 (aka Xena), an object larger than Pluto orbiting out further in the Solar System. The International Astronomical Union will be meeting in August to decide on the fate of Pluto. By September, we could have 8 or 10 planets in the Solar System, but there won’t be 9 any more.

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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-24-2006, 05:24 PM
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2500 atronomers got together in a star-trek like convention of nerds to demote Pluto. Here's an exclusive picture (for benzworld members only) of the astromomers who made this decision:
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-25-2006, 06:53 AM
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I took an astronomy course at a college that had been given the actual telescope used to detect Pluto (or so we were told anyway) and we looked through it during our lab periods. For this reason, I have been interested in this recent development. I wish this convention of astronomers would leave the 9 planets as status quo.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-25-2006, 07:23 AM
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I think the idea of demoting pluto is goofy.

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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-25-2006, 08:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Musikmann
I took an astronomy course at a college that had been given the actual telescope used to detect Pluto (or so we were told anyway) and we looked through it during our lab periods. For this reason, I have been interested in this recent development. I wish this convention of astronomers would leave the 9 planets as status quo.
I taught my son how to memorize the planets when he was 6 years old. "My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nine Pizzas". If these assholes are just going to randomly declare which rocks are or aren't planets, they should at least have the common courtesy to provide our schoolchildren with a new mnemonic.

They should all be shot or lobotomized. All the problems or questions of the world, and THIS is what these dumbfucks are focused on. Give me a goddamn break.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-25-2006, 08:21 AM
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How many of you are aware that Pluto is part of France?
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 08-25-2006, 08:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QBNCGAR
I taught my son how to memorize the planets when he was 6 years old. "My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nine Pizzas". If these assholes are just going to randomly declare which rocks are or aren't planets, they should at least have the common courtesy to provide our schoolchildren with a new mnemonic.

They should all be shot or lobotomized. All the problems or questions of the world, and THIS is what these dumbfucks are focused on. Give me a goddamn break.
Dude, we get it already - you've got a "cat couldn't scratch it" boner for the anti-Pluto crowd. It is SOO tired...give it a break already. Go watch Pollyanna once. Then maybe you can try beating off, or humping your couch, or visiting an oriental massage parlor - something...you need a release worse than anyone I've ever known.


Sorry -- I'm a bad man.

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