Is Pluto a planet?

4

Answers


  1. 0 Votes

    No, Pluto was once considered a planet but is not anymore. Pluto is categorized as a dward planet, “any spherical object that fails to clear its neighborhood around its orbit”.

    There are certain criteria for an object to be called a planet:

    1) orbits the sun

    2) large enough and have sufficient center of gravity to become spherical

    3) a dominating body in its orbit

    Pluto does not clear its orbit and is very small.

  2. 0 Votes

    Just to expound a little on that answer, when the above poster says “clear its orbit”, they are referring to ability of full-sized planets to clear their surroundings of debris. Pluto is unable to do so because it lacks sufficient gravity. Pluto is therefore not considered gravitationally dominant, instead orbiting the sun in a “zone of similar objects” – in this case, the Kuiper belt. However, there is ongoing debate within the astronomical community as to this classification of planets (it was introduced only in 2006, by the International Astronomical Union). For the time being however, Pluto, along with Ceres and Eris (as well as 50 possible candidates in the Kuiper Belt), are relegated to dwarf status.

    What our solar system looks under the new classification of planets:

     

  3. 0 Votes

    Formally, not at all — in our hearts, yes.

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