Wednesday, August 16

12 planets—or more—in our solar system?

I have a new article on National Geographic News about a proposal to define the term "planet"—which, surprisingly, never had a scientific definition.

Also, New Scientist is hosting a nice fly-by video of the solar system, including the 3 extra planets that would be immediately added under the proposed new definition.

Pluto to Get Partners? New Definition of "Planet" Proposed
Astronomers proposed a new definition of "planet" today.

The proposal would add at least three more planets to the nine we're familiar with, instantly outdating textbooks.

But it could add as many as 50—and that's a problem, some researchers say.

The term "planet" has never had an official definition.

Many scientists have long argued that it was a mistake to call Pluto a planet, since it is much smaller than the other eight generally accepted planets.

Recent discoveries have intensified the debate over Pluto's status and brought the issue to the forefront of the astronomy community.

Read more...

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