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Is Pluto a Planet?

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jkinatl2:
I know, I am a total geek. But I have been following the conference in Prague, and scientists seem pretty well split down the middle.

When it was discovered in 1930, it was thought that Pluto was the size of Earth. Even with it's elongated and wobbly orbit around the sun (far more indicative of object in the Kuiper Belt) it's still been a seemingly stable force in the solar system. Plus, three generations of styrofoam balls creates a certain sentiment.

But turns out, it's NOT the size of earth. As a matter of fact, it's way smaller than Earth's moon. We don't have the capacity to determine whether or not it has a core like Earth, or any signs of stabilizing it's orbit and/or accumulating mass.

I'm thinking, not a planet. Planetoid maybe. Decent sized asteroid, perhaps. Escaped moon from Neptune or even a throwoff from Jupiter, maybe. But not a planet. Plus the fact that if we keep Pluto's classification as a planet, we HAVE to count 2003 UB313, otherewise known as Xena, discovered in 2005 a little further out than Pluto. It's still in an orbit around the sun, and is roughly 70 miles in diameter bigger than Pluto.

So no matter what, it looks as though science projects in middle schools around the globe will change. Question is, will they change to ten styrofoam balls? Or eight? My vote goes to eight.

Thoughts? Or do I watch too much ST:TNG?

whizzer:
No, Pluto is a brown floppy-eared dog in the Disney cartoons.

.......and THAT'S why I think it should remain classified as a planet.  C'mon, of all the planets, Earth, Saturn (cuz of the rings) and Pluto were always favorites growing up.  Pluto creates a warm, fuzzy nostalgic feeling of childhood.

Back when times were good.

Before I discovered Uranus.  Oops, but that's another story.

-Whiz

JeffInNYC:

--- Quote from: jkinatl2 on August 14, 2006, 08:26:35 PM ---
When it was discovered in 1930, it was thought that Pluto was the size of Earth. Even with it's elongated and wobbly orbit around the sun (far more indicative of object in the Kuiper Belt) it's still been a seemingly stable force in the solar system. Plus, three generations of styrofoam balls creates a certain sentiment.

But turns out, it's NOT the size of earth. As a matter of fact, it's way smaller than Earth's moon.
--- End quote ---

Jonathan are you trying to say that "size matters"?  Never figured you to be a size queen.   ;D

Cliff:
Drop Pluto.  And while they are at it, figure out exactly how many continents we have.  Should Asia really be a separate continent from Europe?  And if so, doesn't that mean that India is also a separate continent?  They should also look into the number of oceans.  Do we really need a Southern Ocean?

On second thought, keep Pluto a planet.  It just makes life easier.

AlanBama:
In 5th grade, the science teacher had one of those plastic 'solar system' models that had all the planets on wires that revolved around the sun.....I thought that was the coolest thing I had ever seen.

I agree, Pluto is a DOG (but if he is, what does that make Goofy?)

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