Sunday, June 7, 2009


Although tradition makes me want to say that we should put Pluto back into the "planet classification", science, I feel, takes precedence. We did not have the technology we have today back when we decided who was a planet and who wasn't. From what I have read it almost seemed like that if it was pretty big, and it went around the sun it was a planet. Now that we can observe many more bodies out in space that orbit our sun, and with the given example of Eris that is larger than Pluto, we would have to be all inclusive and include Eris as well, or keep the classification as is. Plus, we wouldn't want our kids to have to memorize many more planets than necessary right?

1 comment:

  1. What's wrong with being all inclusive? If an object is large enough to be shaped by its own gravity rather than by chemical bonds, it's a planet. This is a state known as hydrostatic equilibrium. Memorization is not important. There are billions of stars; do we memorize them all? No, we classify them into categories and learn the characteristics of each category. We don't memorize the names of all the rivers on Earth; instead, we learn the specifics of what a river is. Understanding the principles of the different categories of planets--terrestrial planets, gas giants, ice giants, dwarf planets, etc.--is far more important than memorization. Besides, if we use memorization as a criterion to determine definitions, that's not science, it's a decision made for our own convenience.