STATES CHRONICLE – Researchers from New Horizons have revealed more data about planets and what they are. Alan Stern together with his colleagues argued that they see Pluto as being a planet despite all the arguments and demonstrations. The principal investigator of NASA’s mission to Pluto has explained that he has been thinking of another suitable definition for planets.
Based on the proposal ready to be presented during the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, scientists want to implement the word “planet” as defining any sub-stellar object which has never performed nuclear fusion. The celestial object is also bound to have enough gravitation power to assume a spheroidal shape to be named a planet.
To put it simpler, scientists are required to call a planet any round object in cosmos, smaller than stars. Thus, under this new definition, Pluto is bound to receive its status back. However, it is not just Pluto which will have another denomination. All the moons and natural satellites will be called planets. Based on the current definition provided by the International Astronomical Union, a celestial object can be classified as a plant if it has cleared the neighborhood around its orbit.
The object needs to have enough mass in order for self-gravity to overwhelm body forces, assuming a hydrostatic equilibrium. If it is also situated in orbit around the sun, then it can clearly be called a planet. Apparently, Pluto was disqualified because its orbit is full of comets and asteroids. What is more, it is only twice as big as Charon, its moon.
Stern claims that he and his team firmly believe that the current definition is not accurate. The definition recognizes as planets only the objects which orbit around the Sun, omitting those which orbit around other stars or those which orbit freely in space as rogue planets. Moreover, the definition claims a particular zone clearing.
No planet in this solar system can satisfy that condition since there are always new small celestial objects which enter into planet-crossing orbits, such as NEOs which near our planet. The most important idea is that the new definition requires that zone clearing depends on distance. For instance, an Earth-like celestial object in Kuiper Belt would not be able to clear its zone.
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