Is it time to restore Pluto's status as a planet?

Kirby Runyon is a Johns Hopkins University scientist behind a renewed effort to restore Pluto’s lost title

Instead, the IAU created a new subcategory called "dwarf planets" where Pluto was placed. But now a group of scientists are getting pretty serious about restoring the so-called "non-planet" and making Pluto great again.

Stern and his colleagues note that the IAU's definition of a planet is too narrow and recognizes planets only as objects that orbit our sun and "requires zone clearing, which no planet in our solar system can satisfy since new small bodies are constantly injected into planet-crossing orbits".

According to Tech Times, Pluto was originally discovered in 1930, and was classified as the solar system's ninth planet, which was the case up until 2006 when the criteria for a planet changed - categorizing it as a KBO. Both will be presented at the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference. This approach would categorize Earth's moon as a type of planet.

Pluto "has everything going on on its surface that you associate with a planet".

Perhaps we will now see a dichotomy between how astronomers and geologists define a planet as Runyon's proposal is more useful to planetary scientists and as many are closely affiliated with geology and other geosciences, this new geophysical definition is more useful in these fields than the IAU's astronomical definition.

Runyon and his co-authors are all associated with NASA's New Horizons mission, which returned the first high-quality images of Pluto in 2015 after a close flyby as the spacecraft continued toward the Kuiper Belt.

"There's nothing non-planet about it", Runyon said.

'A planet is a sub-stellar mass body that has never undergone nuclear fusion and that has sufficient self-gravitation to assume a spheroidal shape adequately described by a triaxial ellipsoid regardless of its orbital parameters.'

Runyon proposes that the new draft definition be used for classification of celestial bodies. Keeping these requirements in mind, Pluto was demoted to a dwarf planet because to be considered a planet, the icy world and its natural satellite would have to move alone through their orbit. The new geophysical definition does not include stars, asteroids, black holes and meteorites but everything else in solar system is included.

Please Wait while comments are loading.

Runyon will take questions on the proposed definition during a poster session Tuesday.

The new definition, which willing researchers can adopt without approval from a central governing body, is also more useful to planetary scientists, Runyon says. Majority are closely affiliated with geology and other geosciences, thus making the new geophysical definition more useful than the IAU's astronomical definition, they said.

Additional authors of the paper are from the Southwest Research Institute, the National Optical Astronomy Observatory, the Lowell Observatory, and George Mason University.

Related news:

Hot News

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Noah Cyrus Defends Her Sister Miley From Haters
Mar 23, 2017 - 01:45
Tish is so good, in fact, she's scored her own show with daughter and fellow interior designer Brandi Cyrus (Miley's big sis!). In a new interview with Entertainment Tonight , Miley Cyrus's mother, Tish Cyrus, also denied the wedding rumors.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top The Walking Dead Episode 714 recap and preview for next week
Mar 23, 2017 - 01:45
Once she knows about the situation at The Hilltop and that Negan took their doctor she may be willing to stay and protect Maggie. Rosita never told any of that to anyone, and she feels bad that she never told Abraham she was happy that he was happy .

Maury County girl and teacher have been missing one week
Mar 22, 2017 - 00:51
We're continuing to track down every possible detail leading up to the disappearance of Tad Cummins and Elizabeth Thomas . If they spot Cummins' vehicle, which has the license plate TN 976-ZPT, they are urged to call 911 immediately.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top 2 bodies found in burned vehicle of 'Housewives' star
Mar 22, 2017 - 00:46
Anderson's mother, Michele Ryerson , says that her son and DePaola's son Chris Camisciolli were lifelong friends. The bodies were so badly burned investigators are forced to rely on dental records to identify the men inside.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Greenback on the defensive, gold rises
Mar 22, 2017 - 00:45
On the chart below, we're looking at the recent move in EUR/JPY after last night's French Presidential debates. Neal Kashkari, who said he voted against the rate hike because inflation was still below the bank's 2% target.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top March Madness Ratings At 24-Year High
Mar 22, 2017 - 00:43
For those who want to watch the NCAA Tournment in virtual reality you will now have an opportunity to do so starting this week. That trio will call the game specifically from the perspective of fans watching the live coverage in VR.

Trump Signs Bill Authorizing NASA Funding, Mars Exploration
Mar 22, 2017 - 00:41
While the bill retains funding for the critical earth science department at NASA, not all programs dedicated to monitor climate change will be saved if Trump signs the bill - with four specific missions set to be culled .

Syrian army 'retakes Damascus district' seized by rebels in surprise attack
Mar 22, 2017 - 00:40
United Nations Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura estimates that over 400,000 people have been killed in the conflict. Another rebel official heading to Geneva said the attack showed the limitations of Russia's extensive military support.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Tributes flood in for Derry City captain Ryan McBride
Mar 21, 2017 - 00:50
Dundalk added: "All at Dundalk send our deepest sympathy to the family and friends of Ryan McBride and our friends at Derry City". A year ago, Derry player Josh Daniels lost his mother, sister, brother-in-law and nephews in the Buncrana pier tragedy.

Malaysia to deport North Korean workers with expired visas
Mar 21, 2017 - 00:50
There are four suspects at large, believed to be back in North Korea, and two people in custody regarding the case. North Korea has blamed the United States and South Korea for the high-profile murder.

Paris airport attacker had 'drugs and alcohol' in his blood, post-mortem reveals
Mar 21, 2017 - 00:49
Ordered to produce his identity papers, he pulled out his lead-shot pistol and fired at the officers, wounding one in the face. A senior military source said he knocked the soldier to the ground and tried to take her rifle from her.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Marks & Spencer latest to pull adverts from Google
Mar 21, 2017 - 00:49
In order to ensure brand safety, we are pausing activity across Google platforms whilst the matter is worked through. Last week Google executives were called in to answer questions from the advertising industry over the issue.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Mourinho provides banana skin as Man Utd ease past Rostov
Mar 20, 2017 - 00:41
Manchester United striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic believes Jose Mourinho is the ideal manager for him at this stage of his career. Why? "I've said this for many years ". "This is Manchester United , I don't sacrifice anything", he said .

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top The Public Pulse: Republicans now own health care mess
Mar 20, 2017 - 00:38
Medicaid covers more than 70 million people, and its future is expected to be a central issue in the Senate. Several Republicans have expressed deep reservations, putting the outcome of the vote in doubt.

US says global trade must be fair as well as free
Mar 19, 2017 - 01:04
Both China and Germany have found themselves in the crosshairs of United States criticism over their massive trade surpluses. Mr Trump has been insistent that the U.S. has previously been treated "unfairly" in its dealings around the world.