In 2006, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) came up with a definition of a planet that Pluto lacked in all its terms. According to this definition, three conditions were required to convert space mass to a planet:
- The planet must revolve around the sun.
- The planet should have an almost circular shape.
- The planet must clear the area around its orbit.
The space object has since been removed from the list of planets in the solar system; But 13 years later, in 2019, there was a renewed debate over Pluto’s position as a planet, and former NASA President Jim Brydenstein called for the return of Pluto. “I know Pluto to be a planet, and I’m committed to that,” he said.
According to a new definition by researchers, any space object that is geologically complex can be known as a planet.
The recent debate did not change the position of the planets Pluto; But it sparked a series of new questions and research on Pluto and similar objects.
According to thenextweb, according to the new definition of scientists, Bridestein may achieve not only his dream, but something far beyond it.
In their new definition, scientists have decided to add any object near the Sun, such as Pluto, to the list of official planets in the solar system. By doing so, the number of official planets in the solar system will be much more than 9 planets. The researchers used a geological definition to reclaim the position of the planets Pluto and explained:
We provide evidence that the classification of celestial bodies based on the complexities of geology is the most efficient method for their scientific classification and is an important part of the chain of origin of life in the universe.
Philip Metzger, the lead author of the article, stated that this definition gives us about 150 planets in our solar system; Because almost every moon in the solar system, including our own moon (Luna), which is about one-third larger than Pluto, will be considered a planet by this definition.
Metzger’s team stated that the reason for giving this definition to the name of the planet is the elimination of the condition of having an independent orbit around the sun. This condition previously prevented moons, asteroids, and other suspended objects in the solar system from being considered planets. In short, if Pluto were a planet, many of the 200 moons in our solar system and countless other celestial bodies in that system would also be known as planets.
What do you think of the researchers’ new definition of naming celestial bodies, especially planets? If this definition were to be formalized, what would be the procedure for naming the innumerable suspended objects in the solar system?