The Planet Is A Planet Essay

The Planet Is A Planet Essay

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Throughout history the definition of planet has changed greatly. The Greeks defined a planet as an object that was a “wanderer” in the sky. This was to say that a planet was an object that changes position relative to the background stars.[3] This included the 5 planets visible to the human eye (Earth was not considered a planet) and sometimes included the Sun and Moon. The definition of planet was changed and reworked until 2006, when the current official definition was created. This definition is as follows: “A planet is a celestial body that (a) is in orbit around the Sun, (b) has sufficient mass for its self-gravity to overcome rigid body forces so that it assumes a hydrostatic equilibrium (nearly round) shape, and (c) has cleared the neighbourhood around its orbit.”[1] This definition has several problems that need to be resolved such as not including exoplanets in the definition, not setting an upper mass limit, and excluding several objects that many believe should be included in the class of planets. One of these objects is Pluto. Pluto was a planet for about 75 years and then had its planetary status removed. The consensus in the scientific community is that the current definition of a planet is unsatisfactory and needs to be revised. [3] One of the revisions that needs to be made is to update the definition to include Pluto as a planet. The reasons to classify Pluto as a planet are numerous and have a scientific support. The reasons that Pluto should be reclassified include the fact that it has cleared its orbit as much as other planets have, it is larger than most objects in the solar system, and it is clearly in position of many planetary attributes. [3][4]
Firstly, the point that Pluto is not a planet because it has ...


... middle of paper ...


...ommonly found on planets and not on objects such as comets and asteroids.
Pluto should be reclassified as a planet. The current definition of planet is inconsistent and poorly constructed. The definition of a planet needs to be updated to be consistent and to include Pluto. Pluto should be a planet simply because it is similar to all of the other planets. It is not much smaller than the other planets, has many features that are found on other planets, and no reason to separate it from the planets exists.
[1]https://www.iau.org/static/resolutions/Resolution_GA26-5-6.pdf
[2] https://www.iau.org/public/themes/pluto/
[3]http://www.space.com/29571-why-pluto-is-a-planet-and-eris-is-too.html
[4]http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/crux/2015/02/25/pluto-ceres-planet-again/#.WCJziPorLIU
[5] Baudisch, H; Dvorak, R. "Where are the Saturn trojans?" (PDF). Retrieved 18 April 2016.

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