Pluto is demoted to non-planet in 2006.
In fact, astronomers want to redefine the planet's classification based on the geophysics of an orbiting body, not just whether or not it orbits the sun.
Pluto should be given the status of a planet along with more than 100 celestial bodies in solar system, including moons of Jupiter and Earth, according to scientists who claim that the icy dwarf has been wrongly designated.
That change-a subject of much debate at the time and since-makes no sense, says Runyon, lead author of a short paper that makes the pro-Pluto argument.
Indeed the New Horizons mission which passed within 8,000 miles of Pluto and sent back the first close-up images ever made of the [dwarf] planet, showed stunning surface features including what could be the tell-tale signs of a sub-surface ocean.
The poster will be on view for a full day on March 21 at the conference sponsored by the Lunar and Planetary Institute, and Runyon will be on hand for at least three hours to answer questions about it according to Johns Hopkins University.
This definition can be paraphrased for school children as a "round objects in space that are smaller than stars".
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When the International Astronomical Union decided in 2006 that Pluto wasn't a planet, mother's menu changed from Nine Pizzas to Noodles (or Nachos, Nuts or Nabisco Shredded Wheat). That ignores numerous "rogue planets".
Coauthor Alan Stern, the principal investigator for the New Horizons mission, has argued in the past that the IAU definition also excludes Earth, Mars, Jupiter, and Neptune, which share their orbits with asteroids.
The new definition is more helpful to planetary scientists and is more useful than the IAU's astronomical definition.
Would having a 102 "new" planets stimulate interest in Solar System exploration? It is very large relative to the body it orbits and isn't in the equatorial plane of its parent planet.
The one point that led to Pluto's demotion was that the IAU standard required all planets and their satellites to move alone through their orbits - and Pluto is too tiny to completely accrete all the matter it passes by on its orbit. The new geophysical definition does not include stars, asteroids, black holes and meteorites but everything else in solar system is included. Majority are closely affiliated with geology and other geosciences, thus making the new geophysical definition more useful than the IAU's astronomical definition, they said.
The new definition, which does not require approval from a central governing body, is also more useful to planetary scientists, researchers said.
"I want the public to fall in love with planetary exploration as I have", Runyon added.