New improved solar system

After the meeting of the International Astronomical Union, the solar system has been streamlined to a sleak 8 planets, with the repurposing of Pluto to the new classification of ‘dwarf planet’. The move follows an earlier move which increased the number of planets in the solar system to 12.

Pluto will be able to retain it’s current cartoon character name and eliptical orbit and will not have to be named ‘Sneezy’ after last minute political concessions were made by the other planets in the solar system.

The number of planets has steadily increased since the solar system was first discoved by Nicolaus Copernicus in 1543, with his controversial heliocentric system replacing the stoical Ptolemaic system. Under his proposals the Sun and Moon lost their planet status, with the Sun taking Earths pivotal role. The Earth becoming a planet, but keeping it’s special relationship with the Moon which was to be known as a satellite.

The heliocentric system has proved popular with most planets with Uranus, Neptune and Pluto joining in 1781 1846 and 1930
respectivly.

Ceres was welcomed to joined the solar system as a planet on its discovery in 1801, and Pallas was also initially welcomed but when more and more planets started appearing between Mars and Jupiter they began to be known as asteroids.

In a bold move earlier this month it was proposed that Ceres, 2003 UB313, and Plutos moon Charon be included as planets, increasing the solar system 33%.

One proposal was that any body massive enough to deform it’s own matter (ie round) be regarded as a planet, a move which would have drastically increased the number of planets to a record 20.

The number of planets with time (from 2006 perspective)
How our solar system has grown

So how many planets are there today? The best answer might be something łike, `8 + 3 dwarfs (Ceres, 2003 UB313, and Pluto)’. Another way would be `8 planets and 3 planettes’.

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One Response

  1. UB313 now has a name – ‘Eris’.

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