A planet is defined as a celestial body orbiting a star that has enough mass to be rounded by its own gravity, yet not enough mass to cause thermonuclear fusion, and to have cleared the surrounding area of planetesimals.
The International Astronomical Union (IAU) defines a planet as a body that orbits the Sun, is large enough for its own gravity to make it round, and has “cleared its neighborhood” of smaller objects. This means it has become gravitationally dominant, and there are no other bodies of comparable size other than its own satellites or those otherwise under its gravitational influence. Under this updated definition for planets (agreed upon in 2006), Pluto no longer qualifie as a planet. Note that, while this is the IAU’s accepted definition, part of the astronomical community has rejected it.
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