Pluto has been stripped of its status as a planet wrongly?
Pluto’s degradation to a dwarf planet has caused much controversy. The decision did not please everyone, but the reason Pluto lost its planetary status is not supported by the scientific literature, according to U.S. scientists.
In 2006, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) established a definition of a planet, according to which theorej that must be the dominant object in its orbital path. But Pluto shares its orbit with a whole mass of frozen rocks in the Kuiper Belt and is affected by Neptune’s gravity, which, according to the new definition, deprives it of planetary status.
In the publication, ktora appeared in the pages of the journal „Icarus", scientists say that the classification adopted by the IAU is not supported by the scientific literature.
After analyzing published studies from the past 200 years, the compositeoł scientistow from the University of Central Florida found only one publication from 1802, whichora used a wymog „purification” orbits from other objectsow to classify planets. This publication was based on the conclusions ktore then overthrown.
– IAU definition mowi that the basic object of planetary science – planets – are to be defined based on concepts thatorej no one uses in their research – said Philip Metzger, head of theowny author of the publication. – We also collected examples of scientistsoIn using the term „planet” in the wayob incompatible with the definition of IUA, but they do so because it is functionally useful – added.
– In addition, the new definition is messy. IAU experts have not said exactly what they mean by „cleaning” orbits. If we take it literally, then we have no planets, because none have perfectly „pure” orbits – emphasized Metzger.
A review of the scientific literature showed that the actual division between planets and other celestial bodies, such as asteroids, emerged in the early 1950s, when Gerard Kuiper published a paper in which heoThe study was carried out by theosions based on how they were formed. But this criterion is no longer used to determine whether a celestial body is a planet.
According to Metzger, the definition of a planet should be based on its intrinsic properties, not on those whichore can change, such as the dynamics of the planet’s orbit. – The dynamics are not constant, they are constantly changing. Thus, these parameters are not the basic description of the body – admitted the researcher.
Instead, Metzger recommends classifying a planet based on whether it is large enough for its gravity to produce a spherical shape. According to the scientist, this would not be an accidental definition of the. – This is an important milestone in the evolution of the planetary body. When this happens geological processes can be initiated – explained.
– Pluto has an underground ocean, a multilayered atmosphere, organic compounds, traces of ancient lakes and many moonsow – Metzger said. – It is more dynamic and alive than Mars. The only planet thatora has a more complex geology, is Earth – added.