Skip to comments.PLUTO IS STILL LEGALLY A PLANET (WHENEVER IT PASSES OVER NEW MEXICO)
Posted on 02/03/2017 3:52:55 PM PST by nickcarraway
August 24, 2006 was a dark day for Pluto enthusiasts. It was on that day that the International Astronomical Union established three conditions a celestial body must meet in order to be considered a planet. A planet must orbit around the sun, it must be massive enough to be rounded by its own gravity, and it must have cleared the neighborhood around its orbit, which means, simply put, that it must have a certain amount of gravitational pull.
Pluto does not meet the third condition, so once those rules were put in place, Pluto was demoted to dwarf planet, 75 years after its discovery. Hearts everywhere were broken, as the ninth planet was sadly no longer so. What is My Very Excellent Mother going to serve us nine of now? Thats not a problem in New Mexico, who has taken a Jerry Smith-like stance and declared that, in some instance, they will still legally consider Pluto to be a full-fledged planet (via Reddit).
In 2007, the states house of representatives voted on a piece of legislature that concludes, As Pluto passes overhead through New Mexicos excellent night skies, it be declared a planet and that March 13, 2007 be declared Pluto Planet Day at the legislature. The house voted in favor, and thus, depending on where (and when) you are, Pluto is definitely still a planet.
If youre wondering where the enthusiasm comes from, the state has a special connection to Pluto, as Clyde Tombaugh, its discoverer, taught astronomy at New Mexico State University for nearly 20 years and was a proud resident of the state (and hes also the great-nephew of baseball pitcher and the 2014 MLB National League MVP Clayton Kershaw).
Most in the astronomy community probably dont agree with New Mexico on this issue, but were gonna trust them on this one. Welcome back, Pluto!
Doesn’t change the science at all regardless if you call it a planet, dwarf planet, or Rosie O’Donnell: it is still a cold lifeless dumb rock in outer space.
Using that criteria, Rosie O'Donnell should be declared a planet.
I lived in Silver City, NM for many years. That is the home of the man who discovered Pluto. He had his own observatory there.
Some people belive that if Pluto had been discovered by a German or a Frenchman it wold not still be considered a planet by the IAU.
Pluto has the largest orbit and no help from the other planets. It's out in the rural countryside where it's difficult to clean up the whole place when you only visit a place once every 248 years.
Think of the dust build up alone.
Wur gunna need a bigger Shop Vac. Ya know that duncha?
LOL! Any news about Pluto riles my husband up. “It’s a planet, Dammit!” (Sometimes his language is more colorful.)
There’s been a book on my Amazon wish list for a while:
‘How I Killed Pluto, and Why It Had It Coming’, by Mike Brown:
Michael Brown is the guy whose team discovered Eris, which helped lead to this whole mess. (It’s interesting that ‘Eris’ is the name of the Greek Goddess of ‘strife and discord’.)
For the sake of domestic and conjugal harmony, I consider Pluto a Planet - dammit!
“cleared the neighborhood”
Four close approaches, one only 8000 miles from satellite altitude, in a month. By the above standard Earth is not a planet.
I do not care what a committee of European rump wranglers say, Pluto is still a planet.
It is also of interest to know that Jupiter has not cleared its orbit either. The orbit of Jupiter contains two clusters of asteroids, sixty degrees ahead and behind Jupiter. These are the Trojan Asteroids.
What does that mean, hasn’t cleared it’s orbit?
Yes, while posting I thought of Shoemacher-Levy(sp)but I wanted to stay on Pluto. Thanks, and now since not even Jupiter has cleared its neighborhood, we can set the whole definition out with this weeks garbage. If we do not then the sun has no planets.
Heck, if it had been discovered by a Mestiza woman in Guatemala, we'd never be able to get rid of it.
“International Astronomical Union” of wankers.
Pluto was, is, and always will be a planet.
The wording of the final draft of the definition has continued to be criticized, primarily in the United States. Notably, Alan Stern, the lead scientist on NASA’s robotic mission to Pluto, has contended that Earth, Mars, Jupiter, and Neptune have not fully cleared their orbital zones, just like Pluto. Earth orbits with 10,000 near-Earth asteroids. Jupiter, meanwhile, is accompanied by 100,000 Trojan asteroids on its orbital path. Stern has asserted: “If Neptune had cleared its zone, Pluto wouldn’t be there.”
Some astronomers counter this opinion by saying that, far from not having cleared their orbits, the major planets completely control the orbits of the other bodies within their orbital zone. Although Jupiter does coexist with a large number of small bodies in its orbit (the Trojan asteroids), these bodies only exist in Jupiter’s orbit because they are in the sway of the planet’s huge gravity. Earth accretes or ejects near-Earth asteroids on million-year time scales, thereby clearing its orbit. Similarly, Pluto may cross the orbit of Neptune, but Neptune long ago locked Pluto and its attendant Kuiper belt objects, called plutinos, into a 3:2 resonance (i.e., they orbit the Sun twice for every three Neptune orbits). Since the orbits of these objects are entirely dictated by Neptune’s gravity, Neptune is therefore gravitationally dominant.
Wasn’t Goofy also a dog?
I was privileged to hear Mr. Tombaugh speak once (he was in his 80s then)...great experience. He had tremendous enthusiasm.
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