Pluto loses status as a planet
About 2,500 astronomers and experts who meet today in Prague the Czech capital for the International Astronomical Union’s (IAU) general assembly have voted to strip Pluto of its status as a planet.
Pluto had been considered a planet since its discovery in 1930 by the American Clyde Tombaugh. So to now have pluto effectively airbrushed out of school and university textbooks is something that I think is quite unreal as there always used to been nine planets!
The astronomers at the IAU meeting voted by raising their yellow ballot papers for a count. And then after counting the votes the IAU resolution announced “The eight planets are Mercury, Earth, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune”
Read more about this news over at the BBC News Website!
Update: The Resolution is as follows from the IAU Website:
The IAU therefore resolves that “planets” and other bodies in our Solar System be defined into three distinct categories in the following way:
(1) A “planet”1 is a celestial body that (a) is in orbit around the Sun, (b) has sufficient mass for its self-gravity to overcome rigid body forces so that it assumes a hydrostatic equilibrium (nearly round) shape, and (c) has cleared the neighbourhood around its orbit.
(2) A “dwarf planet” is a celestial body that (a) is in orbit around the Sun, (b) has sufficient mass for its self-gravity to overcome rigid body forces so that it assumes a hydrostatic equilibrium (nearly round) shape2 , (c) has not cleared the neighbourhood around its orbit, and (d) is not a satellite.
(3) All other objects3 except satellites orbiting the Sun shall be referred to collectively as “Small Solar-System Bodies”.
1The eight planets are: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune.
2An IAU process will be established to assign borderline objects into either dwarf planet and other categories.
3These currently include most of the Solar System asteroids, most Trans-Neptunian Objects (TNOs), comets, and other small bodies.