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"Do You Consider Pluto a Planet?" Topic


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17 Jul 2015 11:38 a.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

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Coelacanth17 Jul 2015 8:45 a.m. PST

If it looks like a planet…

All the recent attention accorded Pluto in the wake of the New Horizons flyby gives me to ask: do you consider Pluto to be a planet? My own answer is "yes", based on an appeal to the "grandfather clause" and a measure of stubbornness.

Ron

Winston Smith17 Jul 2015 8:46 a.m. PST

Yes

boy wundyr x17 Jul 2015 8:51 a.m. PST

Yes, pretty much for the same reasons as you Ron. Like that old definition of pornography – "I'll know it when I see it."

morrigan17 Jul 2015 8:52 a.m. PST

Yes.

53Punisher17 Jul 2015 8:54 a.m. PST

Yep

Raynman Supporting Member of TMP17 Jul 2015 9:00 a.m. PST

Yes!

Stealth100017 Jul 2015 9:00 a.m. PST

Yes. We have 9 planets in our system. That's what I was told as a kid and I am sticking with it.

Personal logo x42brown Supporting Member of TMP17 Jul 2015 9:02 a.m. PST

Yes

I have a dwarf human acquaintance it does not make her less human so a dwarf planet is still a planet.

x42

JasonAfrika17 Jul 2015 9:08 a.m. PST

YES!

vdal181217 Jul 2015 9:09 a.m. PST

Yes.And so the Mi-go who have a base there.

Disco Joe17 Jul 2015 9:10 a.m. PST

Yes indeed.

tberry740317 Jul 2015 9:14 a.m. PST

No. There are several KNOWN bodies in the Kulper Belt that come close to Pluto in size.

And the whole "dwarf planet" designation is the kind of thing you get out of a committee.


link

Ashokmarine17 Jul 2015 9:24 a.m. PST

yep

abelp0117 Jul 2015 9:25 a.m. PST

yep

Cyrus the Great17 Jul 2015 9:26 a.m. PST

Of course it's a planet. We wouldn't have spent all that energy to photograph a "dwarf" planet!

mgdavey17 Jul 2015 9:26 a.m. PST

Yes. It's a planet in the Bible, and that's good enough for me.

Axebreaker17 Jul 2015 9:27 a.m. PST

Yes.

Christopher

Goober17 Jul 2015 9:27 a.m. PST

No. IAU says it's not, then it's not.

Unless you want to extend the definition to other KBO's that are larger or similarly sized.

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP17 Jul 2015 9:34 a.m. PST

I think there are bodies in the Belt that are bigger than Pluto, and they are not considered planets.

Personal logo Doctor X Supporting Member of TMP17 Jul 2015 9:38 a.m. PST

Planet.
Next question…

mossdocking17 Jul 2015 9:41 a.m. PST

Thought it was a cartoon dog ?

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP17 Jul 2015 9:45 a.m. PST

No. If Pluto is a planet then we have to classify all the other rocks that big and larger planets as well.

Sorry, not a planet. It's smaller than earth's moon for Pete's sake.

Patrick Sexton Supporting Member of TMP17 Jul 2015 9:46 a.m. PST

Planet, if for no other reason than that it would have been grandfathered into the brotherhood.

Garand17 Jul 2015 9:47 a.m. PST

I think there are bodoes in the Belt that are bigger than Pluto, and they are not considered planets.

This. Pluto wasn't demoted because of a spirit if mean-ness, or a desire to mess with your childhood. Either it was demoted, or we have to add a bunch of other planets to our solar system.

Damon.

Texas Jack17 Jul 2015 9:55 a.m. PST

No way Jose.

Landorl17 Jul 2015 9:59 a.m. PST

Yes, because if not, then I would have to relearn the following..
"My Very Elegant Mother Just Sat Upon Needles and Pins"

Mute Bystander17 Jul 2015 10:05 a.m. PST

Do I care what a bunch of pedants want to call it?


If Pluto is a planet then we have to classify all the other rocks that big and larger planets as well.

No we don't!

And we don't need no stinkin' badges either!

Or stinkin' Badgers!

Free Will, baby!

Personal logo Parzival Supporting Member of TMP17 Jul 2015 10:06 a.m. PST

Yes. It's big, it's spherical due to its own gravity, it's not a star or a former star. Ergo, it's a planet.

So there are more like it? Add more planets. What, y'all can't count over 10?

Science is not done by a vote.

Martin Rapier17 Jul 2015 10:09 a.m. PST

As above, it is roughly spherical, quite big, goes round the Sun and appears to be called 'Pluto'.

If it walks like a duck, sounds like a duck…

Repiqueone17 Jul 2015 10:09 a.m. PST

You can consider it anything you like, but the IAU, for good reasons, created the dwarf planet definition, and so that is what it is. Your opinion simply is irrelevant.

One of first signs of old fartism is the inability to accept change and adapt to new facts and processes. It is independent of age. Some young men are old farts before they hit 40. Others are young and involved even at 80.

Does wargaming attract a higher proportion of OFs than found in the general population? Hmmmm….

tberry740317 Jul 2015 10:21 a.m. PST

… have been grandfathered into the brotherhood.

We've only known about Pluto for 85 years. That hardly qualifies it to be "grandfathered" in.

If they had known about the Kulper Belt in 1930 this wouldn't even be an issue.

Science is not done by a vote.

Nor is it done by emotion.

skipper John Supporting Member of TMP17 Jul 2015 10:27 a.m. PST

When I was young there were 9 planets of which Pluto was one.

Then Ceres was discovered. Scientists, hoping not to look inept for missing it, called Ceres a "dwarf" planet because it was much smaller than the others.

Then someone pointed out that Pluto was smaller than Ceres. In 2006 Pluto became a dwarf planet.

The Beast Rampant17 Jul 2015 10:36 a.m. PST

Didn't 'Rick & Morty' settle this already?

Weasel17 Jul 2015 10:37 a.m. PST

Ex-Planet sounds pretty evocative :-)

"Yeah, I was a planet for a while but it just wasn't working out you know? I just don't wanna work for the man all my life, so I decided to kick back, chill on the whole planet thing.. you know?
It's really all about journey".


Wait…we're talking about astronomy?

mwindsorfw17 Jul 2015 11:03 a.m. PST

Pluto is a make-believe dog and a real-life planet.

Personal logo Parzival Supporting Member of TMP17 Jul 2015 11:08 a.m. PST

Way to insult everyone, Repiqueone. Stay classy, now!

By the way, you're clearly ignorant of what happened with the IAU vote, which was shoehorned in at the end of the conference by the proponents, after the majority of conference attendees, particularly those opposed, had left. That's not science, that's politics.

Secondly, scientists don't get to define the meaning of long-standing words. The meaning of language is solely defined by common usage. In common usage, the image of Pluto is clearly that of what the vast majority of English speakers (and other languages) know as "a planet." Sorry, but the IAU doesn't get to vote on that. It just happens.

Also, many noted astronomers disagree with the IAU vote, arguing that it's arbitrary and not actually very scientific, being based on nothing more than an arbitrarily chosen planetary radius limit and a vague "situational" definition-- "cleared its orbit"-- that not only is nonsensical but leaves out significant spheroid objects that don't orbit anything (among other possible phenomena that equally cancel out the classification).

In any case, science is not up to a vote.

Pluto is a planet.

Gennorm17 Jul 2015 11:11 a.m. PST

No, it's an ex-planet.

Rich Bliss17 Jul 2015 11:15 a.m. PST

No. More due to it's eccentric orbit than anything else.

Personal logo enfant perdus Supporting Member of TMP17 Jul 2015 11:26 a.m. PST

How could it possibly matter?

DS615117 Jul 2015 11:32 a.m. PST

Yes, why would I not. It is what it is.
If you agree with the IAU, then Earth and Jupiter don't count as "planets" either. I presume we all agree Earth is a planet?

It doesn't matter anyway. The IAU has no more authority to set the definition for "planet" than the UAW does to set a definition for "car".
In short, they can say what they want, but they simply don't matter.

You can consider it anything you like, but the IAU, for good reasons, created the dwarf planet definition, and so that is what it is. Your opinion simply is irrelevant.

They didn't create the designation, so there's your fist mistake.
Your second is that they are every bit as irrelevant as anyone else. They have no authority. They also demonstrate a complete lack of scientific thought, so I would argue they are even less than irrelevant.

ROUWetPatchBehindTheSofa17 Jul 2015 11:36 a.m. PST

I just want to know where the UNEF training base is…

(With my scientist hat on I'll go with whatever my distant astronomy-cousins decide to call it)

Bashytubits17 Jul 2015 11:45 a.m. PST

Yes it is a planet. Ask planetary scientists what they think, the majority by far, a planet. Less than 4% of the IAU were responsible for demoting pluto to dwarf planet status and almost none of them were planetary scientisits.

MHoxie17 Jul 2015 11:46 a.m. PST

Ceres was discovered in 1801, and was originally classed as a planet (as were Pallas, Juno, and Vesta), then demoted in the 1850s when other asteroids were found. Anyone who wants nine planets will end up with thirteen.

Winston Smith17 Jul 2015 11:51 a.m. PST

In any case, science is not up to a vote.

No love for "consensus"? grin

Winston Smith17 Jul 2015 11:53 a.m. PST

Yes, why would I not. It is what it is.
If you agree with the IAU, then Earth and Jupiter don't count as "planets" either.

I never heard that before. Please elaborate.

DS615117 Jul 2015 11:55 a.m. PST

Adding: A lot of folks seem to be under the impression that size is somehow relevant.
Size has no part in the definition.

Repiqueone17 Jul 2015 12:01 p.m. PST

Parsifal,

Your note makes no sense.

The IAU vote was merely a confirmation of several scientifically developed criteria to define planethood as part of incorporating a number of new found Kuiper Belt Objects into the construct of the solar system. 1.It must orbit the sun. 2. It must have enough mass to form itself into a spherical shape. 3. It must clear its orbit of other objects by either attracting them into its mass, or slingshot ting them off into another orbit. Pluto fails this final criteria. All planets must meet all three criteria.

Sorry, Parsifal, but scientists can, and do, define terminology used by them in their scientific disciplines, and often have committees to standardize and specify the meaning of any number of terms. Science does this to make sure that precision of meaning exists throughout the discipline and across all societies and languages.

They frankly don't care what a bunch of wargamers think of as a planet, or how someone from Tennessee defines the Higgs Boson. Common usage is not pertinent to scientific usage. As far as they are concerned, you can call Pluto a planet, a beachball, or a Zipppydidoodle, and it doesn't mean a thing, or change the correct terminology.

Several scientists did advance alternative definitions, but it is now fairly well accepted by astronomers, because for them it really is more important to study the new data from Pluto, than worry over accepted terminology.

Science may not be up for a vote, but occasionally terminology and definitions are, usually because new facts are discovered requiring either expanded or more precise definitions. Such was the case when an increasing number of KBOs were discovered. Pluto has far more in common with KBOs than the 8 planets. Hell, the moon is larger than Pluto, and at least one known KBO is larger than Pluto.

Personal logo John the Greater Supporting Member of TMP17 Jul 2015 12:10 p.m. PST

"My Very Elegant Mother Just Sat Upon Needles and Pins"

My Very Elegant Mother Just Sat Upon Nothing.

Just doesn't have the same impact. So, let's keep Pluto a planet.

BW195917 Jul 2015 12:16 p.m. PST

Yes

Coyotepunc and Hatshepsuut17 Jul 2015 12:19 p.m. PST

X42Brown has it right.

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