Pluto May Be Reclassified as a Planet

Pluto May Be Reclassified as a Planet

Pluto may eventually be reclassified as a planet. This is because it appears to be fighting back against scientists who said it was not really a planet due to help from the Hubble Space Telescope. It was back in 2006 when numerous astronomers got together, decided that the orbiting rock was not really a planet after all and voted on that theory. The idea passed and so the ninth rock from the sun was demoted to a dwarf planet in the solar system. However there were other astrophysicists who signed a petition stating that they ignored the results of the voting.

Pluto has been able to gain steam on gaining full planet status again due to the Hubble Telescope’s pictures it has been taking. Because of them, scientists have discovered that Pluto has at least five moons orbiting around it. That is extremely impressive for something that is not considered to be a planet. Along with this, other brand new research has proposed that Pluto is exactly what people were taught it was a very long time ago in elementary science class: the biggest world that is going around the Sun which happens to be out past Neptune.

Because of Pluto’s peculiar and highly inclined orbit, it sometimes takes it from four billion to seven billion km from the Sun. This odd orbit makes Pluto sporadically orbit closer to the Sun than Neptune. However an orbital oddity with Neptune helps keeps the two bodies from ever smashing into one another.

In 2005, astronomers found Eris, which would become Pluto’s chief rival. It is around three times further out from the Sun than Pluto, and Eris is no longer believed to be larger than Pluto either. It appears that original belief was wrong as well and Pluto is the bigger of the two.

There have been several different studies done on the atmosphere of Pluto. Scientists have found and analyzed methane gas in the air. So this means that Pluto has its own stratosphere. That is again very extraordinary for something orbiting the Sun which was voted to be not a planet. With the astronomers discovering the methane, they proposed that the ninth rock could be around 1,470 miles in width, versus only 1,445 miles for Eris. The Hubble was able to examine and also measure the vertical, temporal and spatial distribution of methane gas throughout Pluto’s atmosphere.

Scientists will be able to find out Pluto’s precise diameter in July of 2015, when NASA’s first spaceship to the dwarf planet speeds by. It is scheduled to take a lot of photographs and may possibly even discover more moons. With the potential finds, astronomers many finally be able to put to rest once and for all whether Pluto is undeniably a planet or just the ninth rock from the Sun.

The new research study has been printed up in the space science journal Icarus.

So it finally appears that little Pluto just might be fighting back in the war against all the scientists who declared it really was not a planet. It was back in 2006 when numerous astronomers got together, decided that the orbiting rock was not really a planet after all and voted on that theory. They got their idea passed and Pluto was demoted from a planet to dwarf planet status. Regardless Pluto may soon be reclassified as a true planet.

By Kimberly Ruble

Sources:

Scientific American News

Alternet News

Salon News