Pluto returns to the number of planets?




Since the astronomer Clyde Tombaugh in the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona, discovered Pluto 18 February 1930, we thought we’d live in a solar system of nine planets. Then came the people of the International Astronomical Union, which decides how to call the planetary body. In 2006, they adopted the rules that call the planet and what is not. Since Pluto for us – not a planet.

He was recognized as a dwarf planet, and our solar system was left with eight planets: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune.

The Council believes that the planet – is a celestial body that:

Revolves around the sun.
Round or nearly round.
Clears the neighborhood around its orbit.

Pluto revolves around the sun, and it is round. He was deprived of the title of the world because of rule number 3: Astronomical Union declared that Pluto was too small to shoot down other space pebbles from its path around the Sun.

But the definition of a group and attachment to the country crumb-Pluto gave rise to many disputes. September 18 Astrophysics Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics have started discussion on “what is a planet?”. They discussed the topic, and then run the audience voting. And guess what? Almost all voted that Pluto – a planet.

Alan Stern, principal investigator for the spacecraft “New Horizons”, never accepted the resignation of Pluto. He says that Pluto is rejected because of its distance from the Sun.

“In fact, if you put the earth in place of Pluto, it also expelled, – says Stern. – Any determination of the planet, which will eliminate the Earth, will be profoundly mistaken. In the end, if something can be called a planet, it is only the Earth. ”

“I think the public is best suited for the planet than astronomers. Astronomical community, even as an expert is not suitable for this. This question planetary scientists and astronomers do not. ”

Let us not forget that the other eight planets also have significant differences: Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars – rocky; Jupiter and Saturn – the gas giants; Uranus and Neptune – ice giants.

“It’s a bit of a revolution in planetary science – says Stern. – We see that the data that we used to determine the number and diversity of the planet, were limited to mid-to late 90s. Now we know that there are many types of planets indescribable. ”

When the “New Horizons” will arrive at Pluto in July, they will not put an end to the debate about the status of Pluto, but Stern says that the mission is “mind-boggling.”

The spacecraft must survive what Stern calls the “seven weeks of uncertainty,” dodging asteroids that are flying toward Pluto. Then we get a detailed and amazing shots of this tiny world. Planet or not, Pluto finally came into focus.


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