Thursday, August 24, 2006

Pluto -- NOT a Planet

Pluto gets demoted, and the other candidates get grouped into "dwarf planet" status, excpet Charon, which apparently remains a moon rather than getting any special status.

"Pluto and its moon Charon, which would both have been planets under the initial definition proposed Aug. 16, now get demoted because they are part of a sea of other objects that occupy the same region of space. Earth and the other eight large planets have, on the other hand, cleared broad swaths of space of any other large objects. "Pluto is a dwarf planet by the ... definition and is recognized as the prototype of a new category of trans-Neptunian objects," states the approved resolution. Dwarf planets are not planets under the definition, however. "

Because Pluto crosses the orbital path of Neptune, it doesn't meet the new third criteria.

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