An American study reports that the scientific community erred in removing Pluto from the list of planets in the solar system in 2006.

Pluto is still debated in the scientific community. A study conducted by American astronomers and recently published in Scientific Journal Icarus He argues that Pluto should not be removed from the list of planets in the solar system. A decision dating back to 2006, after a vote by the International Astronomical Union (UAI).

Today, Pluto is considered a “dwarf planet”. However, this decision has long been criticized by many American experts, which can be explained by the fact that if the star is rehabilitated, he will be the only one found out by the United States. In 2018, a study was already published by some of the authors of this new study, with similar conclusions.

disputed definition

The issue is not just that of a few American researchers. Jim Bridentsine, a NASA administrator between 2018 and 2021, explained himself in 2019 that he still believed Pluto was a planet. He justified this by saying, “That’s how I learned it.”

magazine review Icarus Criticizes the standards set by the UAI. Thus, for a space object to be considered a planet, it must be spherical, orbit a star and “clean its orbit”, meaning that it is no longer surrounded by other smaller bodies such as rocks.

On this last point Pluto was not qualified. In fact, many objects of similar sizes to the dwarf planet are in the same orbit. If Pluto becomes a planet again, many other things discovered in the 20th century could claim it as well.

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revision history

According to American scientists, the presence of celestial bodies around the dwarf planet should not be a standard. The internal properties of an object should be the only properties that are judged, not the activity within its orbit, according to them. They also emphasized that astronomers use the term “planet” for some distant objects that do not fit the internationally accepted definition, which, in their opinion, invites a new debate.

According to the study’s authors, UAI should “stop defining it unscientific and stop teaching a revisionist history of its origins.”

After more than 15 years of voting, no consensus has been found on the qualification of Pluto. It remains to be seen whether the scientific community in the fairly near future will reverse its decision to include the dwarf planet, and why not, other objects, in the list of planets in the solar system.


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