Kirby Runyon Scientist from Johns Hopkins has something to prove: regardless of what there claims Pluto is a planet. And Europe, he says, the famous moon of Jupiter, like the Earth satellite the Moon, as more than 100 other celestial bodies in our Solar system, deprived of this status in connection with the notorious definition of "planet".
Definition approved by the International astronomical Union in 2006, downgraded the status of Pluto to a "non-planet", thereby reducing the number consensused planets in our Solar system from nine to eight. This change is the subject of many scientific discussions and then after — did not make sense, says Runyon, senior author of the short article, who plays for Pluto. His article will be presented next week at a scientific conference.
Ice, hard Pluto was the smallest of the nine planets. Its diameter is less than three-fourth lunar and almost the fifth part of the earth. However, Runyon says, "on Pluto there is all that you need to associate it with the planet. It did nothing from the planet."
Runyon, doctoral thesis which focuses on the changing landscapes of the moon and Mars, has led a group of six authors from five institutions to draft a new definition of "planet" and the justification of this definition. Both will be presented at the poster session of the Lunar and planetary science conference. Runyon will be at least three hours to answer all the questions.
All authors who gathered Runyon, included in the scientific team of the mission "New horizons" to Pluto, which was carried out under the strict control of NASA. In the summer of 2015, the spacecraft New horizon first ever orbited Pluto almost ten billion kilometers from Earth, has come to the planet very close and sent to Earth the first pictures at close range.
Runyon and his co-authors advocate for the definition of "planet" that focuses on the inner qualities of the body itself and not on external factors, such as its orbit, or other objects nearby. They define a planet as "subsistence massive body, which has never undergone nuclear fusion" and has enough gravitational weight to maintain a roughly circular shape. (Even if bulges at the equator due to the triangular grip forces produced by its own gravity).
This definition differs from the definition of WT in that it has no links to the surrounding area of a celestial body. This part of the statement of MAS from 2006 — which requires that the planet and its satellites moved in its orbit — excluded Pluto. The rest of the Pluton corresponds to the definition of MAS: it rotates around the Sun, it is massive enough that gravity has made it round.
Alan stern, principal investigator of the mission "New horizons", that the definition of MAS also excludes Earth, Mars, Jupiter and Neptune, which share their orbits with asteroids. The proposed new geophysical definition excludes stars, black holes, asteroids and meteorites, but includes many other things in our Solar system. It could expand our list of planets from eight to one hundred and ten.
This extension makes a new definition of attractive, according to Runyon. He says he would like to make the public more engaged in the study of the Solar system. Because the word "planet" carries "psychological weight", it is believed that more planets could contribute to the public interest.
A New definition that does not require approval of the Central governing body is also more useful to planetary scientists. Most of them are closely connected with Geology and other Earth Sciences, so they will like more the new geophysical definition of the astronomical WT.
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