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Pluto Loses its Planet Status

by Shivaranjan on August 25, 2006


Astronomers at International Astronomical Union have voted against Pluto there by demoting Pluto’s planet status. Many people are not happy about this as pluto was demoted based on a controversial definition of planets. Well now there are only eight planets and 2003 UB313 nick named Xena is staking its claim as a planet.

Space.com Report:

The decision establishes three main categories of objects in our solar system.

  • Planets: The eight worlds from Mercury to Neptune.
  • Dwarf Planets: Pluto and any other round object that “has not cleared the neighborhood around its orbit, and is not a satellite.”
  • Small Solar System Bodies: All other objects orbiting the Sun.

Pluto and its moon Charon, which would both have been planets under the initial definition proposed Aug. 16, now get demoted because they are part of a sea of other objects that occupy the same region of space. Earth and the other eight large planets have, on the other hand, cleared broad swaths of space of any other large objects.

“Pluto is a dwarf planet by the … definition and is recognized as the prototype of a new category of trans-Neptunian objects,” states the approved resolution. Dwarf planets are not planets under the definition, however, “There will be hundreds of dwarf planets,” Brown predicted. He has already found dozens that fit the category.

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