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Solar System May Soon Expand to 12 Planets


Kalisiin

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http://news.yahoo.com/s/space/20060816/sc_...alnewdefinition

 

http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20060816/sc_af...ts_060816141910

 

Interesting stuff. Makes one wonder just how many more "planets" there may be...or "plutons" or whatever.

 

I guess the old way of memorizing our planets may well go by the wayside. Apparently, the asteroid Ceres, between Mars and Jupiter, is up for a vote on whether it is a planet...Charon, the "moon" of Pluto is up for consideration (interesting how, not too long ago, they thought to take the title of 'planet' away from Pluto, and are now considering giving it to a moon of Pluto...) and a newly discovered, further-out "planet" than Pluto...one which is, in fact, even bigger than Pluto.

 

And how many others among the large asteroids might become considered "planets?"

 

Apparently, the name being considered for one of these new planets is "Xena" which I think is actually pretty cool.

 

I'm personally not so sure about the idea of giving any asteroid a title of "planet", nor for that matter, a moon of Pluto. But this farther out, and larger, object than Pluto...ought definitely be considered.

 

Weird, too, how they thought once to strip Pluto of the title "planet" because it was so small...and yet, are now considering titling the asteroid Ceres, less than 1/2 the size of Pluto...as a planet.

 

What the hell are these guys thinking?

 

Guess we'll know later this month when the vote happens.

 

If I had a voice, I'd say Ceres and Charon, no...Xena, yes...making us up to 10 planets.

 

Discussion?

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http://news.yahoo.com/s/space/20060816/sc_...alnewdefinition

 

http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20060816/sc_af...ts_060816141910

 

Interesting stuff. Makes one wonder just how many more "planets" there may be...or "plutons" or whatever.

 

I guess the old way of memorizing our planets may well go by the wayside. Apparently, the asteroid Ceres, between Mars and Jupiter, is up for a vote on whether it is a planet...Charon, the "moon" of Pluto is up for consideration (interesting how, not too long ago, they thought to take the title of 'planet' away from Pluto, and are now considering giving it to a moon of Pluto...) and a newly discovered, further-out "planet" than Pluto...one which is, in fact, even bigger than Pluto.

 

And how many others among the large asteroids might become considered "planets?"

 

Apparently, the name being considered for one of these new planets is "Xena" which I think is actually pretty cool.

 

I'm personally not so sure about the idea of giving any asteroid a title of "planet", nor for that matter, a moon of Pluto. But this farther out, and larger, object than Pluto...ought definitely be considered.

 

Weird, too, how they thought once to strip Pluto of the title "planet" because it was so small...and yet, are now considering titling the asteroid Ceres, less than 1/2 the size of Pluto...as a planet.

 

What the hell are these guys thinking?

 

Guess we'll know later this month when the vote happens.

 

If I had a voice, I'd say Ceres and Charon, no...Xena, yes...making us up to 10 planets.

 

Discussion?

 

I remember hearing about plutos moon about 1 year back maybe...... even then they were talking abouty considering it a planet. It hasent happend yet, who knows.

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Yeah, I heard about the potential stripping Pluto of its planetary status too... it was just because its moon, as you said, is about half its size, and so they have a dual-orbit system, or something like that. My memory's a little fuzzy.

 

Anyway, I hate to nit-pick, but the title of this topic is a bit misleading. :P Perhaps the words "known" or "discovered" would've been suiting, hahahaha... I first read it and was just got this picture of this old couple talking about how "back in our day we didn't have this whole predictin' the universe's expansion and whatnot"... ... ....... Yeah I'm tired.

 

Anyway, I want to be a planet namer! Imagine if that was your job! I want to go to university for my degree in planet-naming!

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I read about this yesterday.

 

There's one thing that bugs me. Why are moons considered planets? They shouldn't be considered planets, as they orbit the actual planet itself. Same goes for asteroids- they're supposed to be remants of planets or are "failed planets". Plus, planets are supposed to be round and spherical in shape, not irregular pieces of rock.

 

While we're at it, lets say Earth's Moon is a planet as its a pretty huge moon in the Solar System (proportionally to its planet, namely Earth).

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I read about this yesterday.

 

There's one thing that bugs me. Why are moons considered planets? They shouldn't be considered planets, as they orbit the actual planet itself. Same goes for asteroids- they're supposed to be remants of planets or are "failed planets". Plus, planets are supposed to be round and spherical in shape, not irregular pieces of rock.

 

While we're at it, lets say Earth's Moon is a planet as its a pretty huge moon in the Solar System (proportionally to its planet, namely Earth).

 

That bugs me, too. But the explanation given is the center of gravity between the planet and it's moon. In the case of our moon, the center of gravity between our Moon and us...exists below the surface of the Earth. In the case of Pluto and Charon...thier center of gravity exists in open space, between the two bodies...and not on the actual surface of Pluto...thus, they would consider Pluto and Charon a "double planet." At least, that is how I understand it, from what I read.

Me, I think it's stupid. Charon is a moon. But, they argue...how do we know for sure which is the planet, and which the moon? Which one is orbiting around the other? Doesn't matter, I say...the bigger of the two should be considered the planet...the smaller of the two the moon, and that ends it.

 

As to the asteroids - they are only considering those asteroids that are large enough to have sufficient gravity to have pulled them into basically speherical shapes...like Ceres. I suppose an argument could be made in favor of Ceres...and other large, spherical-shaped asteroids...but I still say that the Asteroid Belt is supposed to be the remains of an exploded planet - so, if anything, I would consider the entire Belt to be just one planet, and name it "Asteroids."

 

The only thing I have heard about that I would consider a legitimate candidate, really, for planethood...is this object they have found out beyond Pluto. It meets all the basic qualifications...and it's bigger than Pluto. I guess this is the one they are considering the name "Xena" for.

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I actually support that "Xena" planet, but not Charon and the asteroids.

 

I don't support Charon because how can it be a planet? Its smaller than Pluto (1/2 size I believe), which means less mass, which in turn means Pluto exerts more influence on Charon than Charon does to Pluto. By the same token, Earth's moon is, what, 1/5 or 1/6 the size of Earth?

 

I don't support the asteroids because they are the remants of an ancient planet or a failed formation of a planet. Why do they need to classify Ceres as a planet? Perhaps if Ceres did have an atmosphere, I'd be more inclined to support Ceres as a planet though.

 

My classification system would be as follows...

 

Planet = Any large solid spherical body with an atmosphere and gravity that is at least 1/2 the size of Earth.

 

Planetoid = Planets smaller than 1/2 the size of Earth, or solid spherical body without an atmosphere but posseses gravity. They can be counted as "Planets", but considered "Midget-Planets".

 

Moons = Any spherical celestial body that orbits a planet but is smaller than the planet itself. If the moon itself is larger than the planet, then it becomes the planet and the former planet becomes a moon.

 

Sun = The large ball of gas and heat in the center of any solar system.

 

Gas Giants = Large balls / planets comprised of gas that revolve around the Sun instead of the other way around.

 

Asteroids = Any irregular natural body in space, does not matter if they possess gravity or not. Irregular shaped manmade objects like spaceships, satellites, space stations, etc. are not considered asteroids for obvious reasons.

 

My classification is very simple and easy to understand.

 

Therefore, Pluto and "Xena" fit in the "Planet" or "Planetoid" category, while Ceres is put into the Asteroid category. Simple, really.

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Wow, you learn something new everyday. I heard of this "Xena" planet awhile ago but I thought they gave up on it. Its cool to learn these things. Thanks Kalisiin :biggrin:

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I remember my Physics teacher telling us that it's speculated that the asteroid field was once a planet of it's own broken apart by something. Ceres as the largest of these astersoids, and the most spherical, would be the likely origin of these asteroids. Part of the reason this is thought is because of Titus-Bode's law, an observation that orbits of planets in the solar system closely follow a simple geometric rule. This was able to predict roughly where the planets are through an equation, and led to the discovery of Ceres and Uranus. I don't remember precisely what the equation is, but roughly Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Ceres, Jupiter, Saturn, and Uranus all fit perfectly. Neptune was a little off, however, but still roughly fit. The law is something still not proven, though similar spacings have been found in the major moons of Jupiter and Uranus

 

The Pluto Charon system did not fit at all into Titus-Bode's law, and it follows a much more obscure orbit. Really strictly speaking they were only called a planet to begin with because it looked like the two objects were one larger one, and because people were looking for a "Planet X" that acts on the orbit of Neptune causing it's irregular placing in Titus-Bode's law. Frankly I think the only reason they upheld the status of Pluto as a planet was a) so they wouldn't have to re-teach everyone the traditional planets, and b) so they could make a better case for naming Charon and 2003 UB313 (not officially called Xena...) as planets.

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;) About a year ago I remember Master Malace telling me about a planet that had been discovered somewhere beyond Pluto. I'm assuming that this is the planet he was talking about. (My name for it is Sagat, after all there is a Vega star system or so I hear :P )
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I actually support that "Xena" planet, but not Charon and the asteroids.

 

I don't support Charon because how can it be a planet? Its smaller than Pluto (1/2 size I believe), which means less mass, which in turn means Pluto exerts more influence on Charon than Charon does to Pluto. By the same token, Earth's moon is, what, 1/5 or 1/6 the size of Earth?

 

I don't support the asteroids because they are the remants of an ancient planet or a failed formation of a planet. Why do they need to classify Ceres as a planet? Perhaps if Ceres did have an atmosphere, I'd be more inclined to support Ceres as a planet though.

 

My classification system would be as follows...

 

Planet = Any large solid spherical body with an atmosphere and gravity that is at least 1/2 the size of Earth.

 

Planetoid = Planets smaller than 1/2 the size of Earth, or solid spherical body without an atmosphere but posseses gravity. They can be counted as "Planets", but considered "Midget-Planets".

 

Moons = Any spherical celestial body that orbits a planet but is smaller than the planet itself. If the moon itself is larger than the planet, then it becomes the planet and the former planet becomes a moon.

 

Sun = The large ball of gas and heat in the center of any solar system.

 

Gas Giants = Large balls / planets comprised of gas that revolve around the Sun instead of the other way around.

 

Asteroids = Any irregular natural body in space, does not matter if they possess gravity or not. Irregular shaped manmade objects like spaceships, satellites, space stations, etc. are not considered asteroids for obvious reasons.

 

My classification is very simple and easy to understand.

 

Therefore, Pluto and "Xena" fit in the "Planet" or "Planetoid" category, while Ceres is put into the Asteroid category. Simple, really.

 

 

I tend to mostly agree with you, on your logical definition, except for the atmosphere thing. If atmosphere was a requirement, Mercury would have to no longer be considered a planet, as it possesses no atmosphere. Likewise, one of Jupiter's and one of Saturn's moons DO possess an atmosphere.

 

I would define as follows -

 

Planet - a large, spherical object in orbit around the sun...and not in orbit around any other celestial body. (Thus our own Moon, larger than Pluto...does not qualify as a planet, as it is in orbit around Earth) The smallest a planet could be, and still be considered a planet, would be Pluto. Thus the classical nine planets all fit as planets. Charon, Pluto's moon, would not be considered a planet, as it is in orbit around Pluto. Some scientists would arguer that, since the center of gravity between the two bodies is in open space...which is the planet, and which the moon? Why isn't that a "double planet?" My response is...in such a case...the largest object is to be considered the planet...all others are to be considered moons of that planet. No requirement for an atmosphere...but it must be no smaller than the currently-smallest planet, Pluto. Thus, "Xena" would also fit into the definition, and we would have ten planets in our Solar System.

 

Planetoid - This is the category that Ceres would fit in. Not quite merely an asteroid, Ceres is more than just an asteroid...but less than a planet.

 

The rest of it works as is.

 

Can you imagine the nightmare astrologists will have if we suddenly have about 50 recognized planets? LOL!! What does it mean if planet Ceres is rising in the House of Capricorn, gang? :tounge::tounge:

 

What if planet Harry is converging with Uranus? :tounge::tounge:

 

In my model, then, our Solar system would consist of ten classical Planets, the Asteroid belt, with a potential of up to perhaps 4 of those considered "planetoids."

This seems to make the most sense to me...but, then....my vote don't count, so...we just have to wait and see what the bigwigs decide.

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Ahh, well...

 

I'll still go by the 10 planets thing, regardless of what other people say. I hate political correctness, and I call things as they are with no BS'ing involved.

 

If people want to call Charon and Ceres a Planet, I will simply inform them that I won't recongize Charon and Ceres as a planet.

 

That simple. ;-)

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Guest Plattym3
If I had a voice, I'd say Ceres and Charon, no...Xena, yes...making us up to 10 planets.

 

Discussion?

I'm pretty sure Sedna is the largest body discovered outside Pluto's orbit. If you're going to count Pluto & Xena, they'll definately count Sedna. It's too big to ignore.

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Ceres doesn't deserve to be classified as a planet, it is too small. On the other hand, Sedna is too big to ignore, like Plattym said.

 

planetsld9.jpg

planets1mo2.jpg

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Sedna? I've never heard of Sedna at all.

 

Nor had I, actually.

 

I don't claim to be on top of all this stuff...I just started this because of what I saw on Yahoo News, and it sorta grabbed my attention.

 

I formed my understanding of the current situation from what was available in the referenced articles...and I formed my opinion on what seems to best make sense to me.

 

I'm okay with Xena being a planet...I'm not too cool on the idea of Ceres or Charon...I am not cool with the idea of dumping Pluto as a planet...and, as I've no actual information on Sedna, I can't form an opinion. Can someone reference something about Sedna, please?

 

It is definitely an interesting topic worth some discussion, I think.

 

Anyway, I'm interested.

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Can someone reference something about Sedna, please?

 

Scientists Find Another Huge Mini-World in Outer Solar System

 

Thanks! An interesting read, to be sure.

Well, in my already-stated definition of planets, then, Sedna would not qualify...as the smallest unit acceptable as a "planet" would be Pluto, itself. In my model, Sedna would be classed as a "planetoid."

 

Then again, who the hell am I, right? But...it's my opinion, and I stand by it. Xena gets to be a planet, Sedna doesn't.

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FYI, the definition of a moon is a natural satellite of a planet. The problem with Charon and Pluto is that they orbit each other. Charon does not orbit Pluto and vice versa. They revolve around a central point. I think Kalisiin already pointed that out.

 

Pluto is still up for debate as an official planet, and with the new bodies being discovered, scientists are having trouble describing a firm definition of what a planet is. Pluto isn't much more than an ice cube orbiting the sun, but it and Charon have their own orbital planes around each other, which technically makes them both planets and moons. It's a really grey area.

 

As of yet, planets don't have any requirements for size, shape, plane area, etc., which is why this argument is surfacing in the scientific community again.

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Well, the one thing I would like to see settled is...at what point does our Solar System actually end? Is the Kuiper Belt part of our Solar System? What about the Oort Cloud?

 

Perhaps there should be a point, say 50 AU...beyond which nothing is classed as a planet? Beyond that, they would merely be objects in the Kuiper Belt, or Oort Cloud...perhaps you might even call some of them "planetoids" or "dwarf planets?"

 

Where exactly does the Kuiper Belt begin? Perhaps nothing in the Kuiper Belt should be classed as a planet? It would have to be closer to the Sun than the leading edge of the Kuiper Belt to qualify? And again, exactly where is that boundary?

 

There's a number of ways the debate could go...and, of course, lay people like us have no real say, but I am interested to find out just what consensus is reached as to what is, and what is not, a planet.

 

As I said before, could be a lot of fun watching astrologers go apeshit trying to decide what it means...you know, 50 some odd different planets?

 

As I said, it could really throw astrology for a loop, and it'd sorta be fun watching all of them deal with it...as I said, what is the consequence for, say, a Gemini, if Ceres is rising in Capricorn, Charon is setting in Sagittarius, Xena is rising in Aries, and Planet Harry :laugh: is converging with Uranus!! :laugh::laugh:

 

That could be a whole lot of fun...and it would really blow completely out of the water...the notion that astrology is anything more than entertainment, and that it had any basis in science. But it might make for interesting horoscopes for a while!!

 

As to the Pluto-Charon thing...yeah, that actually is correct...they do seem to actually orbit one another, as their center of gravity (the point around which they appear to orbit...is actually in free space between the two bodies. And so, technically, yeah, I can see the argument of that being a "double planet" but, to my mind, I still say...to hell with it...the bigger one gets to be the planet, the smaller has to be the moon, and that is that.

 

Our Moon, on the other hand, clearly orbits Earth...because the center of gravity between Earth and Moon is located beneath the surface of the Earth. Therefore, clearly Moon is orbiting us...we are not orbiting each other. Not so, in the case of Pluto-Charon. That would make for some interesting moon phases, though, wouldn't it?

 

Ah, well, in the end, some sort of consensus will be reached, and then we will know for sure...and that'll be that. But I'm interested to learn what that consensus eventually is...and the arguments surrounding each individual opinion.

 

And I'd still like to hear other opinions, from right here...what everyone here thinks about what should/should not be considered a planet...and what consensus you believe may eventually be reached.

 

And what about Ceres...and the other thee asteroids that are among candidates for planethood?

 

And did they ever really resolve the arguments about how the asteroid belt may have come to be? A planet that never managed to form? One that exploded? Was perhaps, pulled apart by the enormous gravity of Jupiter? i'm not sure that argument has ever really been resolved, or that any final consensus has been reached on that point.

 

Anyway, it's fun to talk about, and interesting to watch the debate unfold, and to hear all the different points of view, and the rationale behind those points of view.

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Personally, I'd say the solar system extends to the edge of the Oort cloud, as there's nothing beyond it, and the Oort cloud is the leftovers from the formation of the solar system. The material in there like comets, asteroids, rocks, etc. all belong to the Solar System as its not part of, say, Alpha Centauri or Proxima.

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Personally, I'd say the solar system extends to the edge of the Oort cloud, as there's nothing beyond it, and the Oort cloud is the leftovers from the formation of the solar system. The material in there like comets, asteroids, rocks, etc. all belong to the Solar System as its not part of, say, Alpha Centauri or Proxima.

 

Okay...but at what point do you - or would you...cut off the possibility of anything being considered a planet? would you say a planet could exist in the Kuiper Belt or even the Oort Cloud? Or would you say that a planet must exist only outside of those regions?

 

And where would you say the boundary of the Kuiper Belt actually is? 50 AU from the sun? 100 AU? Beyond the orbit of Neptune? Beyond the orbit of Pluto-Charon? (Incidentally, just in case you were not aware, AU is a distance measurement meaning Astronomical Units - 1 AU being 93 million miles, the equivalent distance of Earth to Sun.)

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Good question.

 

IMHO, I think planets would be very hard pressed to survive or exist as a planet in the Oort Cloud, considering that any planets within that region would be constantly bombarded by billions of rocks or asteroids, and could concievably be shattered into pieces from the bombardment.

 

As for the Kuiper Belt question, I believe the "front door" or inner boundary should be within Neptune's orbit as several large comets and debris has been observed within that region, and the "back door" / outer boundary should sit flush aganist the Oort Cloud.

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