Scientists' Proposal Would Modify Pluto's Planet Status, Add 3 New Ones

Posted: Aug 18 2006, 6:00am CDT | by , Updated: Aug 10 2010, 11:44pm CDT, in News | Other Stuff


Scientists' Proposal Would Modify Pluto's Planet Status, Add 3 New Ones
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Some 2,500 scientists from around the world are currently in Prague, Czech Republic to discuss and define for all time exactly what constitutes a planet, at least until there's another global gathering to discuss this same issue, which has been debated for almost a century. The International Astronomers Union, as they're called, want to set for sure exactly how small a celestial body can be to still be considered a planet.

Decision: Pluto is not a Planet

A special committee has put forward a definition for a planet that would keep Pluto's status somewhat intact, but would also give the same status to three other celestial bodies. The proposal is to have a subcategory of planets known as Plutons, to which Pluto would fit, along with Xena (pictured), Charon, and Ceres, three similarly sized "planets". Of course, who knows when we'll next need to define planets, plutons, and whatever other words these astronomers come up with in the next several decades? The head of the committee, Owen Gingerich, says, Undoubtedly some future IAU committee will have to revisit this question and define the upper limit for "planet", probably well before 2106."

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Report Published by: Mark Raby

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/2" rel="author">Luigi Lugmayr</a>
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