The Universe. Some scratches of Beryllium. Diving. The Navel of the Galaxies. Maybe god. Maybe the void. Maybe you. Maybe it's just cryptical

Friday, August 25, 2006

Cherishing Pluto

Planet: Pluto
Mood: Nostalgic

It's time to investigate inother aspects than constellations. The Solar System can provide excellent insights. Yesterday, it was redefined. Pluto’s status as the last (but not least) planet of the solar system was abducted.

It was during a meeting in Prague that the already-uncertain status of the planet was decided … through voting!

Pluto was discovered in 1930. It is the smallest of the telluric planets which are Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars. It is (was) also the last known planet in the Solar System, after the other four giant gas planets. Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune.

In essence, the new definition of a planet, according to the Prague Convention attendees, any celestial body that:
- is in orbit around the sun
- has sufficient mass for its self-gravity to overcome rigid body forces so that it assumes a hydrostatic equilibrium (nearly round) shape
- has cleared the neighborhood around its orbit

Since Pluto’s orbit crosses the one of Neptune, hence the third of the conditions not filled, Pluto would be now integrated in a new category called "dwarf planet."

I feel sad about this. I always wondered what the 10th planet would be, not why the planets would become 8.
I was overexcited with the discovery of Sedna. Now all of this is making me feel that there are a thousand of Plutos and Sedna orbiting out there in the solar system.

Will there be one which will be crowned the new 9th planet?

(images: top: artist photo of Pluto and sattelite Charon - left: the diameters of farest objects in Solar System compared to Earth and Moon)



Post a Comment

<< Home