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PLUTO MAY RETURN TO ITS PLANETARY GLORY, REVEALED THE SCIENTISTS

By Mukul Arora . 11th September 2018 10:30pm
PLUTO MAY RETURN TO ITS PLANETARY GLORY, REVEALED THE SCIENTISTS

That seems to be the aim of a new study that urges Pluto be returned to its former planetary glory. The research, published in the scientific journal Icarus, says Pluto never should have been downgraded from a planet to a dwarf planet 12 years ago.
Why? Because, the authors say, the rationale behind the decision wasn't valid.
Let's back up a bit, to 2006. That's when the International Astronomical Union (IAU), the group that gets to name planetary bodies, established updated rules for what is and what isn't a planet.
The IAU defined a planet as a celestial body that orbits the sun, is round or nearly round and "clears the neighborhood" around its orbit. It's that last part that's currently in dispute.
The IAU said Pluto was just too small to clear the neighborhood or knock other space rocks out of its path as it orbits the sun. And so, the astronomical union demoted Pluto to dwarf planet status.
"The IAU definition would say that the fundamental object of planetary science, the planet, is supposed to be defined on the basis of a concept that nobody uses in their research,"
The standard used to classify planets changed in the 1950s after astronomer Gerard Kuiper said what really determines what is and what isn't a planet is how a celestial body is formed.
The AIU said there's a clear way to bring up a motion with the group -- "which is to propose an IAU Resolution through the relevant Working Group(s) and Division."
So far, however, no such resolutions have been proposed, said Lars Lindberg Christensen with the group.
"It is nevertheless good and healthy to debate these topics," Christensen said.
Maybe, sometime soon, the debate will be settled -- and we can all go back to talking about the nine-planet solar system we learned about in school.