Despite the controversy, Pluto most definitely deserves the class of dwarf planet because of it’s size and orbit. When Pluto was still a planet, it was the smallest in our solar system, setting it apart from the others. In order to be classified as a planet the celestial body must be large enough to clear other objects out of its way. With the tiny size of Pluto, the dwarf planet has troubles pushing away objects like asteroids. Pluto is about half the size of the United States, which sounds big, but considering Jupiter, the largest planet in the solar system, is 1,300 times the volume of Earth.
Astronomers also considered the idea that it might be a failed start formed during binary star formation however the mass ratio of the planet and it’s star is too different for that to be likely either. Therefore, scientists cannot explain how such a massive planet could be formed so far out. Many astronomers are excited about this new discovery because it shows the diversity planet formation, giving them new ideas to contemplate and shows us that there is still much we don’t know about the universe. Background Information The most commonly accepted theory of planet formation is the solar nebula theory. In this theory, planets form by slowly by collecting materials leftover from its star’s formation.
By definition from a Merriam- Webster Dictionary a planet is “any of the large bodies that revolve around the sun in the solar system which have a similar body to them”. This is not a very specific explanation and makes it hard to fully grasp what it means; at this you could easily say that in fact Pluto a planet. However if you look at a scientific encyclopedia the definition is much different and more specific. The Access Science Encyclopedia says a planet is “A) a celestial body that is in orbit around the sun B) has sufficient mass for its self-gravity to overcome rigid body forces so that it can assume a hydrostatic equilibrium shape C) clears the neighborhood around its orbit”. This explanation is much different and clearer about what qualifies as a planet.
There are also many other minor planets which are also in our solar system, but they are unimportant compared to the nine major planets. In this paper I will discuss the planets and how they are each unique. Mercury which is the planet that is closest to the sun is the first planet I will discuss. Mercury is the smallest of the inner planets. It is speculated that the heat from the sun made it impossible for the gases present to become part of the planetary formation.
Since it’s discovery, the legitimacy of Pluto as actually being a planet, has long been debated. The numerous irregularities found when studying Pluto, coupled with its miniscule size has made it the object of controversy. For a while it was believed that Pluto could have possibly been another moon of the planet Neptune. This was often believed due to similarities between Pluto and the Neptune moon Triton. Triton and Pluto have similar surface and atmospheric properties, both being of near equal temperatures.
Neptune’s composition is similar to Uranus, being made up of various rock and ices, and having 15% hydrogen with little helium. Neptune has the most rapid winds in the solar system, reaching up to 2000 km/hour. Neptune also has rings. Its rings are very dark, but the composition is unknown. Neptune can sometimes be seen with a binocular, but you have to know exactly where to look.
Even though the planet itself was discovered in 1781, the rings of Uranus weren’t discovered until 1977 by the astronomical team of James L. Elliot, Edward W. Dunham, and Douglas J. Mink. Uranus has thirteen distinct rings that start around 38,000 kilometers from the center of the planet to almost 98,000 kilometers. Uranus’s rings are relatively dark and are made up of larger chunks that would really qualify as boulders and not dust. The rings are particularly tiny as each ring is only a few kilometers thick. Unlike Saturn’s rings, Uranus’s rings have proven to be surprisingly stable (Moscato).
Saturn is the 6th planet in order distance from the sun. It cannot approach the planet Earth closer than 1,190,000,000 kilometers. Its brightness is due to its large size. Saturn's equatorial diameter is 120,660 kilometers, but its globe is kind of flattened, and the polar diameter is only 108,000 kilometers. The mass of Saturn is 95.17 times that of the Earth, and the escape velocity, which is the velocity which once attained it will enable the object to "coast" away from the planet, is 32.26 kilometers per second, more than three times that of the Earth.
Introduction The solar system has eight planets; Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. Of these eight planets, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune are known as gas planets, which means that they are made up of mostly hydrogen and helium and they don’t have a distinct surface. These four planets are also the only planets with rings around them. Although Jupiter is the largest of the four gas planets, Saturn’s rings are the biggest and most dazzling. Saturn is the sixth planet from the Sun and has been known for thousands of years, but the rings weren’t discovered until 1610.