Pluto is Now a Plutoid

Posted by Michael Pinto on Jun 12, 2008 in Science |

Pluto is Now a Plutoid - how about a Class P Planet instead?

Frankly until we’re able to see a few more planets outside of our solar system up close it’s a bit early to make judgement calls on what is and isn’t a planet. I say we go to the Star Trek model and start to classify different types of planets by letter:

Plutoid chosen as name for solar system objects like Pluto

“Almost two years after the International Astronomical Union (IAU) General Assembly introduced the category of dwarf planets, the IAU, as promised, has decided on a name for transneptunian dwarf planets similar to Pluto. The name plutoid was proposed by the members of the IAU Committee on Small Body Nomenclature (CSBN), accepted by the Board of Division III, by the IAU Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature (WGPSN) and approved by the IAU Executive Committee at its recent meeting in Oslo, Norway.

Plutoids are celestial bodies in orbit around the Sun at a distance greater than that of Neptune that have sufficient mass for their self-gravity to overcome rigid body forces so that they assume a hydrostatic equilibrium (near-spherical) shape, and that have not cleared the neighbourhood around their orbit. The two known and named plutoids are Pluto and Eris. It is expected that more plutoids will be named as science progresses and new discoveries are made.”

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