Lets reinstate Pluto as the ninth planet (Honory)

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Lets reinstate Pluto as the ninth planet (Honory)

Postby Alan McDougall on May 14th, 2017, 12:35 pm 

I vote that Pluto be reinstated albeit an honory planet in our solar system

The fly by of this little planet surprised astronomers who were expecting a fearless ball of icy rock, but instead found it one of the most fascination planets in our solar system

My comments


http://www.space.com/43-pluto-the-ninth ... dwarf.html

Observations of Pluto's surface by the New Horizons spacecraft revealed a variety of surface features, including mountains that reach as high as 11,000 feet (3,500 meters), comparable to the Rocky Mountains on Earth.

While methane and nitrogen ice cover much of the surface of Pluto, these materials are not strong enough to support such enormous peaks, so scientists suspect that the mountains are formed on a bedrock of water ice. [Photos of Pluto and Its Moons]

Pluto's surface is also covered in an abundance of methane ice, but New Horizons scientists have observed significant differences in the way the ice reflects light across the dwarf planet's surface.

Another distinct feature on Pluto's surface is a large heart-shaped region known unofficially as Tombaugh Reggio (after Clyde Tombaugh). The left side of the reggio (an area that takes on the shape of an ice cream cone) is covered in carbon monoxide ice. Other variations in the composition of surface materials have been identified within the "heart" of Pluto.

In the center left of Tombaugh Reggio is a very smooth region unofficially known by the New Horizons team as "Sputnik Planum," after Earth's first artificial satellite, Sputnik. This region of Pluto's surface lacks craters caused by meteorite impacts, suggesting that the area is, on a geologic timescale, very young — no more than 100 million years old. It's possible that this region is still being shaped and changed by geologic processes.

These icy plains also display dark streaks that are a few miles long, and aligned in the same direction. It's possible the lines are created by harsh winds blowing across the dwarf planet's surface.
NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has also revealed evidence that Pluto's crust could contain complex organic molecules.

Pluto's surface is one of the coldest places in the solar system, at roughly minus 375 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 225 degrees Celsius). When compared with past images, pictures of Pluto taken by the Hubble Space Telescope revealed that the dwarf planet had apparently grown redder over time, apparently due to seasonal changes.
Orbital characteristics

Pluto's highly elliptical orbit can take it more than 49 times as far out from the sun as Earth. Since the dwarf planet's orbit is so eccentric, or far from circular, Pluto's distance from the sun can vary considerably. The dwarf planet actually gets closer to the sun than Neptune is for 20 years out of Pluto's 248-Earth-years-long orbit, providing astronomers a rare chance to study this small, cold, distant world.

As a result of that orbit, after 20 years as the eighth planet (in order going out from the sun), in 1999, Pluto crossed Neptune's orbit to become the farthest planet from the sun (until it was demoted to the status of dwarf planet).

When Pluto is closer to the sun, its surface ices thaw and temporarily form a thin atmosphere, consisting mostly of nitrogen, with some methane. Pluto's low gravity, which is a little more than one-twentieth that of Earth's, causes this atmosphere to extend much higher in altitude than Earth's. When traveling farther away from the sun, most of Pluto's atmosphere is thought to freeze and all but disappear. Still, in the time that it does have an atmosphere, Pluto can apparently experience strong winds.
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Re: Lets reinstate Pluto as the ninth planet (Honory)

Postby Eclogite on May 19th, 2017, 9:55 am 

Alan, you have listed several valid and interesting points about Pluto. I could offer similar lists for Gannymede, Europa, Callisto, Io, Titan, Enceladus and Iapetus. Pluto is smaller than five of those. It is also smaller than our moon.

If you object that Pluto independently orbits the sun, not another planet, then are you willing to grant planetary status to Ceres, Eris, Makemake and Sedna? And the other 17 such bodies yet to be discovered, including - probably - at least one gas giant? (The latter which ought to be granted the honour.)

If you will excuse the pun - in the case of Pluto, let sleeping dogs lie.
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Re: Lets reinstate Pluto as the ninth planet (Honory)

Postby Alan McDougall on May 19th, 2017, 12:13 pm 

Eclogite » May 19th, 2017, 3:55 pm wrote:Alan, you have listed several valid and interesting points about Pluto. I could offer similar lists for Gannymede, Europa, Callisto, Io, Titan, Enceladus and Iapetus. Pluto is smaller than five of those. It is also smaller than our moon.

If you object that Pluto independently orbits the sun, not another planet, then are you willing to grant planetary status to Ceres, Eris, Makemake and Sedna? And the other 17 such bodies yet to be discovered, including - probably - at least one gas giant? (The latter which ought to be granted the honour.)

If you will excuse the pun - in the case of Pluto, let sleeping dogs lie.


What you say is correct, but dear Pluto has a long history as a planet namely the 9th so I still say we should give it a honory status as a planet in its own right.

A bit off topic but some astronomers think there might be a very large planet far out maybe somewhere in the Oort Cloud?
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Re: Lets reinstate Pluto as the ninth planet (Honory)

Postby mitchellmckain on June 14th, 2017, 1:04 am 

If reinstated then it should be Pluto-Charon as a double planet. It is a double planet because both are tidally locked to each other. All moons are tidally locked to the planet they orbit. But the Pluto is the only one which is also tidally locked to the so called moon.

Eclogite makes a good point about the mass. Pluto is not only smaller in mass than many moons it is smaller than the largest moons by a factor of nearly 100. Its moon is larger by comparison to the planet it orbits than any other moon, but even adding 12.2% for its moon doesn't change this poor mass comparison to the rest of the planets.

On the other hand, I think the manner of Pluto's discovery so early on from the effect on the orbit of Neptune is a point in favor of a planetery classificaiton. This history plus the double planet character of Pluto-Charon is a good reason for calling attention to them with such a status.

But... if Pluto-Charon is re-instituted as a planet then you can make a case for including Ceres as one of the planets also for its mass is close to that of Pluto. Seems they are calling Ceres a dwarf planet and maybe this is the proper classification for Pluto, or rather Pluto-Charon as a double dwarf-planet.
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Re: Lets reinstate Pluto as the ninth planet (Honory)

Postby Watson on June 14th, 2017, 10:34 am 

I was always a big supporter of Planet Pluto, until I read in to it and found information about why it was put to the side and told to stay. The fact is, it was discovered prematurely and given planetary status before the facts were known. As for the Pluto-Charon as a double dwarf-planet, seems to me they are both moons.

And don't you wonder why ours is named The?
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Re: Lets reinstate Pluto as the ninth planet (Honory)

Postby Braininvat on June 14th, 2017, 10:49 am 

If you put The in front of Uranus, it wouldn't be nearly as funny.
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Re: Lets reinstate Pluto as the ninth planet (Honory)

Postby Alan McDougall on June 14th, 2017, 10:50 am 

I am not sure but I think Pluto and its "moon"? revolve around each other much like the dumbells of weightlifters and bodybuilders
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Re: Lets reinstate Pluto as the ninth planet (Honory)

Postby Watson on June 14th, 2017, 12:46 pm 

Yes. That was my point.
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Re: Lets reinstate Pluto as the ninth planet (Honory)

Postby mitchellmckain on June 16th, 2017, 2:07 am 

Looking into this subject quickly finds the dwarf planet Eris (discovered in January 2005) which is not only 27% larger than Pluto but also has a moon which is even closer in mass to itself so that Eris and its companion is 58% larger than the Pluto/Charon group. However, it is three times farther out from the sun than Pluto, so you need to make the map of the Solar System quite a bit larger in order to include it.
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