Can Pluto be reclassified as a planet?
I watched a recent episode of Nova on PBS where they too a closer look at Pluto and found that it had a lot of characteristics of being a planet. They even named a part of it after the man who originally discovered it.
Took* a closer look. (Sorry Typo)
What would Clyde Tombaugh say to the IAU if they had made Pluto a dwarf planet while he was still alive?
- Ronald 7Lv 79 months agoFavourite answer
You could always Picket the AIU
I was them that demoted Pluto
However, New Horizons has opened up people's minds
Pluto is now a real world again
Who would have thought from about 60 years ago that Pluto had five moons.
One, Charon which is just slightly smaller than itself
Not clearing its own Orbital Path was the only reason for its demotion
A lack of Mass and being in the Kuiper Belt was its Failure
Still interesting none the less
Would you believe that underneath its Shell of Frozen Nitrogen there could be Liquid water above a Rocky Core
Even there we have a chance of life
When I was back at School, I am 60 now, Pluto was classified as a Planet
And in 2006 New Horizons was launched actually before the AIU's decision
- RaymondLv 79 months ago
The only planet that was not considered a planet, then got classified as a planet is... Earth.
Until the 17th century, it was simply "the centre of the universe".
Planets then included: Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. During the 17th century, 4 planets were added: Io, Europa, Ganymede, Callisto (that is how Galileo reported them, because they did fit, at the time, the description for "planet" even though they were in orbit around Jupiter, and not "Earth, the centre of the universe")
In the 18th century (the 1700s), The Sun was promoted to "star", the Moon demoted to "satellite", along with the satellites of Jupiter. The biggest demotion was for Earth, passing from centre of the universe to planet.
Early 19th century, four new planets were discovered (in orbit around the Sun): Ceres, Pallas, Juno and Vesta. They were, strangely, sharing similar orbits around the Sun, but all was OK until new telescopes, in the 1850s and 1860s, began to discover other similar planets by the dozen, all sharing a "belt" of orbits around the Sun.
That is when the category "minor planets" was created. Ceres (and the other three) got "demoted" to minor planets.
When Pluto got demoted to "dwarf planet", a new category invented to solve another problem, Ceres found itself reclassified to dwarf planet (making it a half-way promotion from minor planet to planet).
Because of the upwards reclassification of Ceres (once reclassified downwards), it shows that there is some hope for Pluto.
Not much, but some.
The real problem is that Pluto was NOT created at the same time nor with the same process as the "main" planets.
- 9 months ago
I still consider it one. I don't discriminate agains dwarf planets. In fact I call them little planets.
- Anonymous9 months ago
Yes, but only if we DEMAND it. Write your Congressman and make them aware of this grave injustice!
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- Anonymous9 months ago
They've classified it as a dwarf planet now. It's smaller than our Moon.
They've also started classifying the major planets into different categories now too. Earth, Venus, Mars and Mercury are terrestrial planets. Neptune & Uranus are ice giant planets. Saturn and Jupiter are gas giant planets. We'll never get back to Pluto being part of the major planet club again.
- nineteenthlyLv 79 months ago
The problem is that there are plenty of other bodies which would also count as planets if Pluto does, and the word would cease to be very useful.
- PaulaLv 79 months ago
Yes it is possible.
It is a spherical object - and it obits the sun directly
It has not cleared its orbit of other similar sized objects.
But it does have 5 moons.
Those 5 moons elevate Pluto above all other dwarf planets.
But it is hard to see IAU changing the rules again.
- 9 months ago
Yes it can........
- daniel gLv 79 months ago
Pluto never wasn't a planet. The IAU added the new category 'dwarf planet' to describe Pluto. Pluto's moons,Charon, Nix, Styx, Hydra, Kerberos,
Charon is not much less mass and nearly form a binary planet system, but none of Pluto's moons can be classed planet.
- CliveLv 79 months ago
There is a very clear definition of a planet laid down by the IAU. Pluto does not fit it. End of story.