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How Many Planets in Our Solar System?

Discussion in 'Alley of Dangerous Angles' started by Blackthorne TA, Aug 25, 2006.

  1. Blackthorne TA

    Blackthorne TA Master in his Own Mind Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    It's quite clear that Pluto isn't a planet why even have a debate?
     
  3. Saber

    Saber A revolution without dancing is not worth having! Veteran

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    Neither are Earth, Jupiter, or Neptune, then.
     
  4. Abomination Gems: 26/31
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    Bah, I think they're trying to say that Pluto isn't a planet because its orbit is affected by Neptune. They compete for orbit and Neptune is top dog should either come within the other's gravitational pull. Or was it Uranus? I can't remember but I know no matter what we call Pluto it won't get us to the next system any faster.
     
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    Pluto is one of thousands of frozen rocks orbiting the outer solar system. There really isn't anything special about it. In fact, I think there might be rocks bigger than it out there that have names like X18767. Pity the poor astrologers. ;)

    Ironically, I was just teaching my students about the 9 planets the morning this was announced.
     
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    Poor Pluto, always the unlucky one.
     
  7. Shoshino

    Shoshino Irritant Veteran

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    great, so this means that we have to spend millions to change the textbooks used in schools for physics lessons and change the curriculum
     
  8. Gnarfflinger

    Gnarfflinger Wiseguy in Training

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    And weren't they thinking about adding three more a few years ago?
     
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    Right you are. Here's the names of the three from CBC News

    Fiddling with definitions is such a nuissance in science. :(
     
  10. Decados

    Decados The Chosen One

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    @Gnarfflinger: Yep, I think it was the attempt to get them classified as planets that got this whole argument finally sorted.

    The best reaction I've seen to this news was probably my mother's:
     
  11. Harbourboy

    Harbourboy Take thy form from off my door! Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    I remember an episode of "ALF" when Alf wowed Willy with his prescient knowledge that there was a 10th planet called Dave. Willy then found out there was a new 10th planet called Charon. So they'r saying that even Alf was wrong? What is the world coming to?
     
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    Pluto: Now It's Just A Dog.
     
  13. Shoshino

    Shoshino Irritant Veteran

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    its interesting that they turned in the opposit direction when on aug 16th the Independent (UK based broadsheet) were reporting that they were adding the 3 theyve been discussing for years
     
  14. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    I wonder if it's going to matter. What I mean is, on one hand, it is nice to have a definition with 4 criteria so that when a new object is discovered we can say definitively if it qualifies as a planet. There's convenience in that, and that has to count for something. OTOH, people have been referring to Pluto as a planet for some 80 odd years now. Is merely kicking it out of the planet family really going to change anything? Maybe if we really start teaching kids that there are only 8 planets it will change over time, but for most adults who don't keep up with astronomy, you could ask them 10 years from now and they would still tell you there are nine planets.
     
  15. Laiwethel Gems: 23/31
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    The Astronomy Picture of the Day has some information on this as well, including an image which has all of the planets and "dwarf planets" in our system.
     
  16. Bassil Warbone Gems: 12/31
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    I'm glad Earth is still a planet and didn't get demoted to a dwarf planet in the recent contest. Can you imagine all the grief Captain Kirk would have got if he had been from a dwarf planet? Every time a new alien asked him where he was from he would have had to explain that dwarf planet didn't mean it was inhabited by dwarves, not completely anyway, and then the whole 'little people' debate would have kicked off.

    And then there would have been all the oh-so-funny dwarf jokes :almostmad: that the captain would have had to have dealt with. He would have had to have spent most of his time punching some sense into those aliens, which admittedly he did anyway, but even more so.

    And that would have left him less time to seduce their women-folk, which was obviously not going to have been made any easier when even the aliens with tentacles and bad breath came from the planet Porsche and he came from the planet Mini Metro.

    Its harder to 'Boldly go' when you are dreading telling xenomorphs were you boldly came from. So I think keeping Earth as a planet is a wise decision. In fact it might help if Uranus and Neptune are labelled as Oversized Planets, and Jupiter and Saturn are known as Ridiculously Big Planets (which they obviously are and it should be investigated as to whether their size is having a detrimental effect on the Solar System, causing more eclipses than is reasonable, that sort of thing).

    Having your authority undermined because of where you come from is a sad fact of life, even life that is not as we know it. I think Earth has had a narrow escape. Imagine what may have been...

    SPOCK Captain on the bridge!

    KIRK As you were, Spock. Lieutenant, new course: 'Second star to the right and straight on till morning.'

    SPOCK Pppppfffft! You lost again Captain?

    KIRK Big ears

    SPOCK Dwarf
     
  18. Bassil Warbone Gems: 12/31
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    "Pluto's been demoted!"
    Why was it a planet to start with?
     
  19. Blackthorne TA

    Blackthorne TA Master in his Own Mind Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Because there has never been a very concrete definition of a planet, and back when Pluto was discovered, observations were not as sophisticated as they are now, so it was called the ninth planet of our solar system.

    In this more modern age, we now know what Pluto is made of and we also know there are larger objects in orbit around the Sun, and even that Pluto has an object in orbit around itself.
     
  20. Bassil Warbone Gems: 12/31
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    I thought that pluto was declaired as an object part of the Kieber belt long ago. I know it was taught in schools as a planet but the scientific community considered it a Kieber object.
     
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