How many planets? #PlutoIsAPlanet? #TheMoonIsAPlanet?

Is it time to restore Pluto back to the planet club?

http://releases.jhu.edu/2017/03/16/scientists-make-the-case-to-restore-plutos-planet-status/

A new effort to restore Pluto to the so-called Planet club is underway.

As reported at astronomy.com

Rather than focusing on “external” factors such as whether a body has cleared its orbit (the portion of the IAU criteria that Pluto failed in 2006), the new geophysical definition instead brings to the forefront the intrinsic properties of the body itself. It takes into account the fact that many of the solar system’s worlds are physically complex and geologically active, from Ceres’ ice volcano to Pluto’s slushy heart.

In essence, rather than focusing on the orbit, this proposed new definition suggests we focus on the object itself. Questions like. Is it round? Is is complex on the surface? Is it active? Unfortunately this approach may suffer the same fate as many others, in that this new definition is too open. It would result in over 100 new ‘planets’ in our solar system alone. Even our Moon would now be a planet. As such, maybe this new definition is doomed to failure.

So, adopt this new approach of Pluto-as-a-planet, at the cost of labeling 100 other objects as planets? Or leave things as they are?

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83 comments on “How many planets? #PlutoIsAPlanet? #TheMoonIsAPlanet?

  1. I remember learning about Pluto in grade school, and learning that there was nine planets instead of eight. I remember when the declared Pluto as a dwarf planet and everyone was shocked. I believe that Pluto should be considered as a dwarf planet and not a real planet, because if we considered it a planet then it would fill the criteria of other non planets becoming planets.

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  2. I don’t think Pluto should be considered a Planet. There are a lot of similar bodies that were never considered planets so i think we need to be consistent in our definitions of a Planet.

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  3. Funny to think that in Elementary I was taught that pluto was the ninth planet in our solar system. It was taught kind of like the runt of the planet family. In my opinion pluto should not be a planet. Pluto has not managed to live up the criteria of a planet. Still pretty cool that it was discovered here at NMSU.

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  4. I find it interesting how much information there is on Pluto, as well as any other planet. I also think it’s kind of funny that there is still a debate on whether Pluto should be a planet or not, I’m sure for a astronomer it’s not funny but to me it is because we are always hearing different information. One source will say Pluto is a planet and another will say it’s not and all I can say is that we should only pick one because I don’t think it’s right to keep researching a researching, astronomers should just pick one based on the information we already have and stick to it.

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  5. At first glance, the new definition of a planet made sense, but I don’t exactly agree with it because it is entirely aimed at getting Pluto back into consideration as a planet (which seems pointless), and isn’t really concerned with the 100 other objects that would also have to be considered.

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  6. It is so weird referring to Pluto as not a planet, in school when we learned about the planets I learned My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nine Pizzas, but then we learned that Pluto wasn’t really a planet. I thought it was cool that these researchers are challenging the IAU definition of planet by saying if using that definition then Earth Neptune, Jupiter and Mars would be excluded. Pluto may not technically be a planet (for now) so, we will just have to see what the outcome produces.

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  7. What is crazy is growing up I always thought Pluto was a planet. To be honest it was ,y favorite of all the planets. Now realizing and learning that it really wasn’t one is sad but I think it is very exciting at the same time because it means that our technology is becoming more advanced. With this new technology who knows what else we can discover in space.

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  8. that would be great i think if the solar system is going to be bigger so more planets to discover and maybe we will find something out there.
    but that our moon is going to be a planet is something that i would want cause we almost claim that as a part of the earth so..

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  9. Growing up, I was taught that Pluto was a planet. It was honestly shocking discovering that it wasn’t. If they did change it back to being a planet I think it would just really confuse people and they should leave it as is.

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  10. It would seem that yes, this new definition is too broad. These definitions need to be more specific, otherwise, as stated, there would be hundreds of new objects classified as “planets” when they merely meet the requirements and are likely inactive. Finding a better and more adequate definition of what is and what is not a planet will leave more space to determine what these new objects might really be, and what a planet itself really is.

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  11. I didn’t know that Pluto was discover in New Mexico, that is pretty cool. I was pretty sad when Pluto became classified as a dwarf planet and it took me a while to adapt to the idea of Pluto not being a planet. It was just a weird feeling as one day I are learning that we had nine planets and the next you know it I was learning that their is only 8 classified planets in our solar system. I think if you were to change things it would just be confusing now to those who have grown up learning that Pluto is not a planet anymore.

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  12. I remember as a kid being tested on the 9 planets and I also remember the big change when my teacher told me no your wrong Pluto is no longer a planet. And for me the original definition is very specific and with the new one I don’t think I can remember all 110 celestial bodies in are solar system.

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  13. Growing up, my teachers always told us that there were 9 planets, Pluto being the last one. Now that we have adopted the idea of Pluto not being considered a main planet, it should stay that way. It is going to get confusing for kids growing up if we keep going back and forth on if we think that Pluto is a main planet or a dwarf planet. It is really cool that NMSU assisted in the discovery of Pluto!!

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  14. Growing up I remember learning nine planets, and Pluto was one of them. I believe that it should have stayed a planet because it is there and it fits into the category of a planet. I disagree with Pluto’s moon possibly fitting into the category later on of a planet but Pluto definitely should have stayed one. It is possible that maybe I am just biased because of NMSU’s involvement with the planet as well, but I feel they shouldn’t have taken that label from Pluto.

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  15. I love that NMSU contributed with the finding of Pluto. Although understandable, as to why Pluto is no longer considered a “planet”, I still say it is one. Purely for the reason that I’m New Mexican, and we are credited for the discovery of that cute little dwarf planet 🙂

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  16. I find it interesting how NMSU played a large role in Pluto’s discovery. Everyone in my generation learned that Pluto was the ninth planet, and i believe we still all believe that. I also feel that they shouldn’t be changing it back and forth.

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  17. Growing up I was taught that pluto was a planet, however, the evidence kind of stacks up against it. I believe it should just stay as a dwarf planet.

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  18. I think that Pluto should still be considered a dwarf planet even though it does not have the criteria to be a planet. I learned about Pluto being a planet in primary school but later on it was considered not about planet, but it has more fame from being excluded from the nine planets than it does for being a dwarf planet.

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  19. I don’t think that Pluto needs to be reclassified as a planet because it going everything more confusing. I learned that Pluto was a planet in elementary and now they are teaching it is not. If they keep changing the status of Pluto the way teachers are teaching will have to continue to change.

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  20. I was not aware that Pluto was discovered in New Mexico, that’s awesome. But I think it shouldn’t be reclassified as a planet, it would make sense, and I feel like it would change the classifications for other planets maybe found in the future. Also, people are growing up knowing that Pluto is a dwarf planet, it would make things very confusing for people if things changed now.

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  21. I think leaving the planets as they are labeled now should be the way to go. Even though we won’t be able to call NMSU’s discovery a planet, it’s much better than ushering in a whole new meaning to the word, “Planet.” As many other people in this thread have said, learning over 100 more planets as a part of general education just sounds a bit too much.

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  22. I remember in elementary school learning about nine planets. But later on I was taught there were only eight planets. I think Pluto should be still a dwarf planet. But i thought a cool thing is that New Mexico discovered Pluto.

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  23. I think that if we start looking at everything in our solar system like that, then the options would be so open to what is to be considered “a planet”. I think that we should keep our solar system the same because that’s the way most people learned. It interesting that we are starting to look at not only the external qualities but it leaves the possibilities too open.

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  24. I don’t think the criteria should be expanded just so that Pluto can be a planet again. If we allow it to become a planet then that means we might have to add other non planets and the list may be too long. Pluto should just stay a dwarf planet.
    Jennifer Nunez

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  25. I would not reconsider Pluto to be a main planet as the criteria would become too simple, allowing other similar objects to qualify as being planets as well. I believe that further research needs to be done in order to classify the objects we discover as true planets.

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  26. I believe Pluto should be considered a dwarf planet, it just seems odd because when we were young, we were told that Pluto is a main planet. If you inform younger students from the beginning there would be no confusion.

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  27. Although I grew up with Pluto being considered a planet I feel like now that we’ve all come to terms with it not being one that it shouldn’t move back to being considered a planet. The new definition is way too broad and if start calling Pluto a planet again, we’d have at least 109 “planets.” Although people dislike change, moving Pluto back into the planet category would cause way more change and chaos than even before.

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  28. Pluto should not be reclassified as a planet, even though it was discovered in New Mexico. Clearly, though Pluto does not live up to the criteria of being a planet. Pluto is however and should stay a dwarf planet.

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  29. While I remember being taught that there where nine planets instead of eight in elementary, I don’t think that Pluto should be considered a planet. I think that a lot of people react negatively to change, which is why they still want Pluto to be a planet, but if we consider it to be a planet, we’ll have to open the door to too many other things as well.

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