That Pluto is Back, An American study suggests that the scientific community was wrong in removing Pluto from the list of planets in the solar system in 2006.
That Pluto is Back,Pluto continues to be debated in the scientific community. A study conducted by American astronomers and published recently in the scientific journal Icarus argues that Pluto should not have been removed from the list of planets in the solar system. A decision that dates back to 2006, after a vote by the International Astronomical Union (IAU).
Today, Pluto is considered a “dwarf planet”. However, this decision has always been criticized by many American experts, which can be explained by the fact that if the star were to be rehabilitated, it would be the only one discovered by the United States. In 2018, a study had already been published by some of the authors of this new study, with similar conclusions.
A contested definition
That Pluto is Back, The case is not only that of a few American researchers. Jim Bridentsine, administrator of NASA between 2018 and 2021, explained himself in 2019 that he still believed that Pluto was a planet. “This is how I learned it”, he justified then.
The study of the journal Icarus criticizes the criteria put in place by the UAI. Thus, to be considered a planet, the space object must be spherical, orbit around a star and have “cleaned up its orbit”, which means no longer being surrounded by other smaller objects like rocks.
It is on this last point that Pluto is not qualified. Indeed, many objects of comparable sizes to the dwarf planet are in the same orbit. If Pluto were to become a planet again, many other objects discovered in the 20th century could also claim it.
According to American scientists, the presence of celestial objects around the dwarf planet should not be a criterion. The internal characteristics of the object should be the only characteristics judged, and not the activity within its orbit, according to them. They also maintain that astronomers use the terminology “planet” for certain distant objects which do not meet the definition accepted at the international level, which, according to them, calls for a new debate.
The UAI should “stop its unscientific definition and stop teaching a revisionist history of its origins,” according to the study’s authors.
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More than 15 years after the vote, consensus has therefore still not been found regarding the qualification of Pluto. It remains to be seen whether in the more or less near future, the scientific community will reverse its decision to include the dwarf planet, and, why not, other objects, in the list of planets in the solar system.
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