Pluto's Demotion from Fully-Fledged Planet
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This paper discusses the consensus reached by the International Astronomical Union in 2006 on the official definition of a planet, and the consequent reclassification of Pluto as a "dwarf planet." The writer explains what is known about Pluto today and describes the background to the controversy and the discoveries that led to the challenging of Pluto's status as a planet. Many scientists today still believe that Pluto is in fact a planet, and support a more expansive definition of what are called planets. The paper concludes that, as our knowledge of what constitutes planets continues to expand, Pluto may once again be considered a planet.
From the Paper:"The recent controversy over Pluto's status as a planet reveals the fact that quite often, what seems like a scientific certainty is still quite contentious within the scientific community, when new discoveries are made through improved technology. In 1995, discoveries of large planets around other stars, plus new objects that are neither planet nor star, and free-floating objects in space that look like planets but do not orbit stars forced astronomers to reformulate definitions of what constituted a planet (Britt 2000). Extrasolar planets may originate as brown dwarf stars, lack light, and are even in some cases as large as Jupiter, yet they orbit stars like planets (Britt 2000). In defining whether these burnt-out brown dwarfs were planets in the early 90s were planets, the issue of Pluto's planetary status again came to the forefront of scientific debate."
Sample of Sources Used:
- Britt, Robert Roy. "What is a planet>" Space.com. 2 Nov 2000. August 2, 2008. http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/solarsystem/planet_confusion_001101-2.html
- Britt, Robert Roy. "Scientists decide Pluto's no longer a planet." MSNBC.com. August 24, 2006. August 2, 2008. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/14489259/
- Cain, Fraser. "Why is Pluto not a planet>" Universe Today. April 10, 2008. August 1, 2008. http://www.universetoday.com/2008/04/10/why-pluto-is-no-longer-a-planet/
- Cain, Fraser. "Why do some scientists think that Pluto is not a planet?" Universe Today. April 19, 2008. August 2, 2008. http://www.universetoday.com/2008/04/19/why-do-some-scientists-consider-pluto-to-not-be-a-planet/
- Dejoie, Joyce & Elizabeth "Libby" Truelove. "The Dwarf Planet Pluto." High Energy Astrophysics Science Archive Research Center (HEASARC). August 1, 2008. http://starchild.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/StarChild/solar_system_level1/pluto.html
Cite this Descriptive Essay:
Pluto's Demotion from Fully-Fledged Planet (2009, April 12) Retrieved February 28, 2020, from https://www.academon.com/descriptive-essay/pluto-demotion-from-fully-fledged-planet-113477/
"Pluto's Demotion from Fully-Fledged Planet" 12 April 2009. Web. 28 February. 2020. <https://www.academon.com/descriptive-essay/pluto-demotion-from-fully-fledged-planet-113477/>