New Planet Found Is Larger Than Pluto

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by Mr. Anderson, Feb 2, 2006.

  1. Mr. Anderson Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

    Nov 1, 2001
  2. jsw Moderator emeritus


    Mar 16, 2004
    Andover, MA
    I think it's inevitable that we will find dozens, if not hundreds, of these. We already know of others similar in size to Pluto, and, given the vast distances, relatively small sizes, and hence the difficulty in finding them, I'm sure many more have yet to be found - this one's bigger than Pluto, and we just found it.

    I'm all for being sentimental, but I think we should set the number of planets to eight, not nine, and group Pluto and these others into some other category, perhaps more than just "Kuiper Belt objects" but less than planets.

    Either that, or have a URL to the current number of planets, which could grow often as more of these are found. "How many planets are there in the solar system, Susie?" "One second... I'm opening my browser... there are 14 of them, Teacher! No, wait, 15! Yes, 15! Er... I mean 16...."
  3. emw macrumors G4


    Aug 2, 2004
    Haven't we talked about this one before? In any case, it will be interesting to see what name they give it.

    And think of all the school books that could now need to be updated with this new information. Or, as jsw says, perhaps better to simply update it all electronically.

    As far as not making them all planets - that's a tough one. First we need to define what a "planet" is - something that is yet to be done with any degree of objectivity, it seems. If we have a well-defined tolerance, say x miles in diameter with a regular orbit or something, then it would be a simple matter to include or not to include them. Right now, there is no such distinction.
  4. kretzy macrumors 604


    Sep 11, 2004
    Canberra, Australia
    The orbits of these planets always fascinate me. I don't understand how it is possible for them to remain in orbit (generally in a very elliptical shape), when they are so far from the gravitational pull of the sun. :confused:
  5. miloblithe macrumors 68020


    Nov 14, 2003
    Washington, DC
    There's a bunch of competitors. It'll be interesting what the IAU decides (apparently this month?) about what the definition of a planet is. What amazes me is how similar the first five of these objects are. Fairly similar sizes and orbits. Sedna and Xena are pretty different. And obviously Ceres is (204 year-) old news and pretty much agreed that it's not a planet.

    name (min dist to sun, max distance from sun, orbital period, diameter)

    Pluto (29.7, 49.3, 248.1, 2306)
    Orcus (30.9, 48.1, 247.9, est. 840-1880)
    Santa (35.2, 51.5, 285.4, est. 1500)
    Quaoar (41.9, 44.9, 286.0, est 989-1346)
    Easter Bunny (38.7, 52.6, 308, est 1600-2000)
    Xena (37.8, 97.6, 557, est 3000)
    Sedna (76.2, 975, 12050, est 1180-1800)
    Ceres (2.5, 2.8, 4.6, 950)
  6. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004
  7. iPoster macrumors regular

    Mar 29, 2005
    Off I40/I85, near the Cracker Barrel
    "dozens of planets and hundreds of moons"

    Sounds like Firefly/Serenity might not be too wrong!
  8. MacSA macrumors 68000


    Jun 4, 2003
    They didnt predict the discovery of Pluto in 1930.........

    ....or Neptune for that matter in 1846......Or Uranus in 1781 lol.
  9. Les Kern macrumors 68040

    Les Kern

    Apr 26, 2002
    And therein lies the problem. It's not even as big as our moon. It's not a planet, and neither is Pluto. But Pluto is by a flaw in history. Why can't we say there are 9 planets, and all the rest planetoids?
    This whole thing is silly.
  10. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

    Jun 25, 2002
    Gone but not forgotten.
    What about the astronomers?

    I'm surprised we haven't seen a lot more in the solar system. Of course, how many more moons were discovered by a close up visit from a probe? Several, it seems.
  11. miloblithe macrumors 68020


    Nov 14, 2003
    Washington, DC
    The exciting thing about all this to me is that the reality is so much more complex and interesting than the simple model we all learned in elementary school. Nine planets sounds nice, most with however many moons, but the fact is there is a lot a fascinating variety. Obviously, Jupiter and Mercury have much less in common than do Mercury and most of the potential planets I listed above, yet both are "planets". I think we need some new terms here.
  12. fluidinclusion macrumors regular

    Sep 8, 2003
    Green Bay, Wisconsin USA
    They just revolve at a different rate

    It just takes longer to get around the sun. THink about the Galaxy as a whole, the whole set of spiral arms is one system due to gravity, even at MUCH greater distances.
  13. whocares macrumors 65816


    Oct 9, 2002
    Nooooooooo! I had a cool mnemotecnic method to remember the 9 planets (in French):

    Mercredi Viendras-Tu Manger Avec Jean Sur Un Naperon Propre?
    (Will you come and eat with John on Wednesday on a clean table-cloth? :p :p)

    Mars, Venus, Earth (Terre), asteroird, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, & Pluto.
  14. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004
  15. JNB macrumors 604


    Oct 7, 2004
    In a Hell predominately of my own making
    Not only should Pluto be "demoted", but Jupiter as well. It's a gas ball, a star that didn't quite spark off. Hardly what I'd call a planet.

    But that brings Saturn into some question, as well.

    OK, so now we're at five, six if the IAU accepts the new one.

    Or 42, if we look hard enough.
  16. GFLPraxis macrumors 604


    Mar 17, 2004
    Kind of off-topic, but...I don't get how astrologers can remain in business.

    Athiests/evolutionists should think the concept is just plain silly.
    Christians should know what the Bible says about astrologers.
    Jewish people should have read the same things from the Old Testament.
    Muslims IIRC have similar beliefs.

    So who listens to/believes astrologers, if neither Athiests or Christians should? Especially in the U.S.? Confused people?
  17. SkyBell macrumors 604


    Sep 7, 2006
    Texas, unfortunately.
    Of, course, Pluto has been demoted already. Good. Bastardly little punk always screwing with us...;)
  18. zap2 macrumors 604


    Mar 8, 2005
    Washington D.C
    Drunks at the boardwalk!

    Duh ;)
  19. Tillisnut macrumors newbie

    Jun 22, 2007
    All objects out beyond Neptune are minor planets by definition. (at least for now) I thought I'd clearify a fact. However, this is a class of planet, so calling the new object a planet is not actually wrong. It confuses me a bit, since I'm not well versed in this area other than what I see on TV or read on the web. I'll stay tuned for further devlopments.
  20. pooky macrumors 6502

    Jun 2, 2003
    Hippies. And not the nice, friendly, drum circle sort of hippies. Crystal toting new-age hippies. *Shudder*
  21. Jopling macrumors 6502

    Jul 14, 2004
    Would it ever be possible that there is a planet with the same orbital speed as Earth's and it travels in a a way that its always blocked by the sun? Just a random thought while reading this thread.
  22. obeygiant macrumors 68040


    Jan 14, 2002
    totally cool
    They should be able to name one of these new dwarf planets "goofy". :)
  23. nplima macrumors 6502a

    Apr 26, 2006
    one day we may contact other more advanced civilizations, and they will tell us that what we call Earth is not a planet because there's too much methane in the atmosphere. According to widely accepted intergalactic standards Earth is a "Schmordbl" and not a planet.
  24. Mitthrawnuruodo Moderator emeritus


    Mar 10, 2004
    Bergen, Norway
    On that same note: I'm still very disappointed that the two micro moons discovered orbiting Pluto a couple of years ago wasn't called Chip and Dale... :(
  25. iBlue macrumors Core


    Mar 17, 2005
    London, England
    No. Think about that for a second. You realize earth is not the only vantage point, right? Orbiting Satellites would have found that. Other various objects/planets have blocked views in the distance but the sun blocking views of planets in our own solar system - I'm afraid that isn't possible.

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