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space (spās) n. 1. space beyond the atmosphere of the earth.

prag·ma·tism (prgm-tzm) n. A way of approaching situations or solving problems that emphasizes practical applications and consequences.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Geologist and IAU Disagree on What is a Planet

Apparently, geologists have their own (better, in my opinion) definition of a planet.

They define a "planet" as a natural object in space that is massive enough for gravity to make it approximately spherical, but not so massive that it has generated energy by internal nuclear fusion.

One problem they have with the IAU's definition of planets, dwarf planets, and plutoids, is that if Earth was beyond Neptune, it would not be a planet, since it is two small to sweep out the Kepler objects around it.

I would also ask, if we found a planet the size of Mars floating by itself in space, would it be a planet?

Definitions based on solar system geography and a bias towards eight planets, along with condescending comments made by IAU officials do not a planet make.

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