Well, at least that is what we might all be saying in a week or so after some group of really smart guys tell us whether those rocks floating out in space are planets or not. Interestingly, if I understand correctly, one of them actually orbits Pluto!?! Doesn’t that make it a moon?
Well, I guess the whole world will be shaken up when we learn that since Pluto’s moon is actually a planet – our moon is too! And since I’m the first person to make that observation I think the moon, er… planet orbiting Earth, should be named after ME!
3 New Planets to Change School Books
By Ali Cimen, Amsterdam
Friday, August 18, 2006
All those interested in science and the universe anxiously await a decision to be taken by the International Astronomical Union (IAU) on August 24 in Prague.
If the union agrees, the number of planets in the Solar System will increase to 12 and all school books will have to be modified.
If 2,500 astronomers seeking to answer the question “What are the necessary conditions for a celestial body to be called a planet?” in the Czech Republic capital Prague on August 14 agree to consider new Pluto-size bodies a planet, the Solar System could expand next week.
Charon, a satellite of Pluto, which is the farthest planet from the Sun, asteroid Ceres and Xena 2003 UB313 discovered in 2005 by astronomer Dr. Mike Brown and his team, are expected to be added to the existing nine planets during the IAU summit to be joined by experts from 75 countries.
IAU President Ron Ekers says, “Modern science has smashed the classical definition for planets. We have discovered celestial bodies bigger than Pluto. We are trying to decide how we will define these.”
The seven-member Planet Definition Committee headed by Ekers, consisting of historians and astronomers, has been trying to determine a new definition of the concept “planet.”
Committee members Owen Gingerich and Richard Binzel suggest gravity will play a determining role in defining what a planet is, but say the power of physics is expected to be the ultimate defining factor.