Front Page


Editor: Veronica Pierce
OpEd: Dan Schrimpsher
Reporter: Dan Schrimpsher
Finance: Veronica Pierce
Contact Us Alternative Contact
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.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

IAU Continues Stupidity on Pluto

In an effort to try to make everyone happy (and therefore make no one happy), the IAU has decided to call all spherical objects beyond Pluto "plutiods". This of course has no physical meaning and could not be easily expanded to other solar systems. And spherical objects inside of Neptune, such as Ceres, are still called "dwarf planets."

Would somebody please create a planet definition that makes sense? Geography of the solar system doesn't cut it for me. And the current definition doesn't include Jupiter as far as I can tell.

The official definition of a plutoid is

A body that has sufficient mass for their self-gravity to overcome rigid body forces so that they assume a hydrostatic equilibrium (near-spherical) shape, and that have not cleared [their orbits of debris]. [Outside of Neptune that is -dsj]

The definition of a planet is:

  • is in orbit around the Sun,
  • has sufficient mass so that it assumes a hydrostatic equilibrium (nearly round) shape,
  • has "cleared the neighbourhood" around its orbit.

I am not sure what "cleared the neighbourhood" means, but Jupiter has two large bodies of asteroids in its orbits. So is it a planet?

I don't mind having 13 or 14 planets, but I do mind these asinine definitions the IAU seems to be constructing.

Be scientists please.

No comments: