Tuesday, June 9, 2009

I personally believe Pluto should be classified as a planet, not just because I have grown up with it as a planet during my childhood, but who defines what a planet is and what is not. Sure, Pluto is small and insignificant, but who's to say that hypothetically, Earth is dwarf planet in comparison to others in our galaxy and universe. Perhaps aliens are looking at our planet and commenting on how Earth is a minuscule and is not significant in any way! I think not. Besides, who decided that Pluto fits the definition of a dwarf planet when the scientific community hasn't even come close to observing a tiny fraction of the forms in space? Pluto even goes above and beyond to have its own moon (not mentioning that the moon and Pluto's gravity pull each other!) I think before we start classifying planets on whether they are a planet or not, we need to discover more and more about all the intergalactic bodies around us.

1 comment:

  1. Pluto is still a planet. Only four percent of the IAU voted on the controversial demotion, and most are not planetary scientists. Their decision was immediately opposed in a formal petition by hundreds of professional astronomers led by Dr. Alan Stern, Principal Investigator of NASA’s New Horizons mission to Pluto. One reason the IAU definition makes no sense is it says dwarf planets are not planets at all! That is like saying a grizzly bear is not a bear, and it is inconsistent with the use of the term “dwarf” in astronomy, where dwarf stars are still stars, and dwarf galaxies are still galaxies. Also, the IAU definition classifies objects solely by where they are while ignoring what they are. If Earth were in Pluto’s orbit, according to the IAU definition, it would not be a planet either. A definition that takes the same object and makes it a planet in one location and not a planet in another is essentially useless. Pluto is a planet because it is spherical, meaning it is large enough to be pulled into a round shape by its own gravity--a state known as hydrostatic equilibrium and characteristic of planets, not of shapeless asteroids held together by chemical bonds. These reasons are why many astronomers, lay people, and educators are either ignoring the demotion entirely or working to get it overturned. I am a writer and amateur astronomer and proud to be one of these people. You can read more about why Pluto is a planet and worldwide efforts to overturn the demotion on my Pluto Blog at http://laurele.livejournal.com