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Old 23rd September 2022, 07:23 AM   #1241
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Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
.

A planet is the only thing in it's own orbit that is orbiting the sun. That works for me.
Not even the IAU go that far...that makes Mercury the only planet.
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Old 23rd September 2022, 07:23 AM   #1242
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Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
I think 'having cleared it's own orbit' is a perfect definition for a planet.
Why? It's a strange requirement which doesn't really correspond to what's important about being a planet.
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Old 23rd September 2022, 08:09 AM   #1243
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
Why? It's a strange requirement which doesn't really correspond to what's important about being a planet.
What is important about being a planet? (genuinely want to know as it's all a little abrirary and the only thing that I can think distinguishes the big, historic things we call planets from the other stuff out there is that they have cleared (or mostly cleared) their own orbit.

Either everything that's orbiting the sun (and not orbiting another body that's orbiting the sun and therefore a moon) then becomes a planet. Which is fine if you want all the detritus in the Kuiper belt, all the asteroids and, possibly the entire Ooort coud to count.

I freely admit I could be woefully wrong about all of this or have my facts completely base-over-apex. I just always thought it was odd to feel sorry for a space rock that's had its classification changed.
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Old 23rd September 2022, 08:15 AM   #1244
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Originally Posted by sphenisc View Post
Not even the IAU go that far...that makes Mercury the only planet.
And Venus, yes? (no moons)
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Old 23rd September 2022, 08:39 AM   #1245
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Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
What is important about being a planet?
It appears to wander around the night sky.

It drifts like an internet thread.
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Old 23rd September 2022, 10:04 AM   #1246
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Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
What is important about being a planet? (genuinely want to know as it's all a little abrirary and the only thing that I can think distinguishes the big, historic things we call planets from the other stuff out there is that they have cleared (or mostly cleared) their own orbit.
The historic planets are the blueprint, because that's where the name comes from. So we should use a definition which is connected to them, even though it doesn't have to include only them. The fundamental properties are orbiting around a sun, and being large. If it's too small, it shouldn't be a planet, because all the historic planets are large. We can't see even nearby stuff if it's small. Likewise, until recently we had no way of determining if orbits were cleared (and even that requires making an arbitrary choice about how cleared it needs to be), so that doesn't really connect with the properties of planets important to their original classification.

But we need something more objective than "large", so we have to pick a way to determine what counts as large enough. There is more than one way we could have done that. For example, you could do that based on minimum mass or radius. But hydrostatic equilibrium is more appealing to many people, because it connects better to our intuition, and I believe the astronomical community has mostly congregated around the hydrostatic equilibrium criteria.
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Old 23rd September 2022, 10:09 AM   #1247
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
That's why I was wondering if the Webb could be used once we think we know where it should be with more certainty then we currently have. It was seeing the images from Jupiter and Mars that made me think about it. I don't know why but I had thought the local planets would have been "too bright" i.e. too hot for the Webb to get good images.
I think it would likely be astronomers a few years down the road analyzing the data for the purpose of finding any object that is suggested by Webb’s findings. Probably to be searched for, if anything suggests a large object, by future telescopes, or existing ones designed for solar system inquiries
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Old 23rd September 2022, 10:47 AM   #1248
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Originally Posted by grmcdorman View Post
And Venus, yes? (no moons)
It's got a Trojan.
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Old 23rd September 2022, 02:57 PM   #1249
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What's considered a planet should be entirely dependent on the resulting mnemonic...

Mary Very Eagerly Miscalculates Just Such Ugly Naked Patooties

...can't be improved upon. Don't mess with it.
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Old 23rd September 2022, 07:32 PM   #1250
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To be a planet a body has to: orbit its star; not orbit another body; not be made entirely of imagination, antimatter, or dairy products; identify as a planet; be gravitationally stabilized into the shape of a sphere, cylinder, or balloon animal; not be delinquent on its student loans; have women; not be too remote to make an effective demonstration; have accessible rest rooms; be at least 17% natural ingredients; have a lively party atmosphere or an atmosphere of foreboding; not be too small for the both of us; have a Queen; and be worth saving even if you've just about given up hope.

There are five of these in the Solar System, but their names and locations are closely guarded secrets.
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Old 23rd September 2022, 08:12 PM   #1251
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Originally Posted by Myriad View Post
To be a planet a body has to: orbit its star; not orbit another body; not be made entirely of imagination, antimatter, or dairy products; identify as a planet; be gravitationally stabilized into the shape of a sphere, cylinder, or balloon animal; not be delinquent on its student loans; have women; not be too remote to make an effective demonstration; have accessible rest rooms; be at least 17% natural ingredients; have a lively party atmosphere or an atmosphere of foreboding; not be too small for the both of us; have a Queen; and be worth saving even if you've just about given up hope.

There are five of these in the Solar System, but their names and locations are closely guarded secrets.
Freddie Mercury is a planet!
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Old 23rd September 2022, 08:23 PM   #1252
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Originally Posted by Myriad View Post
To be a planet a body has to: orbit its star; not orbit another body; not be made entirely of imagination, antimatter, or dairy products; identify as a planet; be gravitationally stabilized into the shape of a sphere, cylinder, or balloon animal; not be delinquent on its student loans; have women; not be too remote to make an effective demonstration; have accessible rest rooms; be at least 17% natural ingredients; have a lively party atmosphere or an atmosphere of foreboding; not be too small for the both of us; have a Queen; and be worth saving even if you've just about given up hope.

There are five of these in the Solar System, but their names and locations are closely guarded secrets.

Hmm, browsing at random through this thread, and glancing at some of the posts about Pluto, I got to wondering what exactly it is that actually sets apart a planet from a ...not planet. Was idly wondering if I should click around a bit --- or whether, as happens far more frequently, I should open a search page with the search terms "how is a planet defined", then bookmark it, and then forget all about it. Clearly now I need to do neither: a better more exhaustive list of things a planet is, or should be, I don't think I'm likely to find anywhere else. Nice!
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Old 24th September 2022, 12:06 AM   #1253
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Originally Posted by Chanakya View Post
Hmm, browsing at random through this thread, and glancing at some of the posts about Pluto, I got to wondering what exactly it is that actually sets apart a planet from a ...not planet. Was idly wondering if I should click around a bit --- or whether, as happens far more frequently, I should open a search page with the search terms "how is a planet defined", then bookmark it, and then forget all about it. Clearly now I need to do neither: a better more exhaustive list of things a planet is, or should be, I don't think I'm likely to find anywhere else. Nice!
For those that do not know much about the subject here is the official definition of a planet

Quote:
1. It must orbit a star (in our cosmic neighborhood, the Sun).
2. It must be big enough to have enough gravity to force it into a spherical shape.
3. It must be big enough that its gravity cleared away any other objects of a similar size near its orbit around the Sun
.

https://solarsystem.nasa.gov/planets/in-depth/

The last one made Pluto not a planet. Though one could argue that the Earth is not a planet as it orbits the centre of gravity of the Earth-Moon system, rather than the sun. Or if you disagree how much bigger does the moon have to be before that is a planet or the earth is not a planet?
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Old 24th September 2022, 12:22 AM   #1254
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Originally Posted by rjh01 View Post
Though one could argue that the Earth is not a planet as it orbits the centre of gravity of the Earth-Moon system, rather than the sun. Or if you disagree how much bigger does the moon have to be before that is a planet or the earth is not a planet?
Nah. The centre of gravity of the Earth-Moon system lies within the earth. Sure, the moon has a tidal influence on the earth, making it wobble a bit, but it's much more massive than the moon.

Earth mass: 5.972 × 10^24 kg

Moon mass: 7.348 × 10^22 kg

The earth weighs 81 moons. Pluto only weighs about 8 Charons, and the centre of gravity of that system lies between the two bodies.

And "clearing the orbit" includes capturing other bodies as a satellite.
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Old 24th September 2022, 02:12 AM   #1255
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Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
The currently used definition of planet seems to me to be extremely logical and appropriate. I really don't get why some have so much of an issue with it.
Logical? Fascinating.

1) Criterion two of the definition is that an object "has sufficient mass for its self-gravity to overcome rigid body forces so that it assumes a hydrostatic equilibrium (nearly round) shape".

2) Mercury is not in hydrostatic equilibrium.

https://www.cambridge.org/core/books...CD3FC47D1E136A

"We show that, like those of the Moon, Mercury's ellipsoidal shape and geoid are far from hydrostatic equilibrium, possibly the result of Mercury's peculiar surface temperature distribution and associated buoyancy anomalies and thermoelastic stresses in the interior."

3) The IAU consider Mercury to be a planet.

Can you explain the logic there?


One of my issues with the definition is that it doesn't acheive anything. A proper scientific definition would allow us to categorise objects in space (including those around other stars) by their intrinsic properties, not their locational properties (orbiting the Sun) nor their transient properties (other objects in their orbits).

Another issue is that I want science to be honest and reliable. But this makes me feel that astronomy isn't either. This definition was formulated to arbitrarily declare these eight objects (no more no less) to be planets and it doesn't even achieve that, so they ignore it.
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Old 24th September 2022, 03:03 AM   #1256
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Strikes me that deciding what criteria do and don't qualify a body for the label "planet" isn't actually science, so the matter of science's honesty doesn't arise.

On the other hand it sounds like the definition quoted needs a bit of a massage in its wording, as it appears Mercury has the requisite gravity but does not quite take the defined shape due to other factors which act on it.
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Old 24th September 2022, 07:33 AM   #1257
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Dr. Becky had a terrifying idea in this video that planet nine might be a black hole.


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Too close, too close. Push it away.
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Old 24th September 2022, 08:02 AM   #1258
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Originally Posted by Solitaire View Post
Dr. Becky had a terrifying idea in this video that planet nine might be a black hole.

Too close, too close. Push it away.
That's not too terrifying.

Thanks for the video. It confirms what I suspected about the exoplanet image earlier in the thread.
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Old 24th September 2022, 09:29 AM   #1259
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Originally Posted by RecoveringYuppy View Post
Short version: the grating wheel is grating.
His bad is this news,
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Old 24th September 2022, 09:38 AM   #1260
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Originally Posted by a_unique_person View Post
His bad is this news,
How bad is this news? Not sure, but if that wheel lost function I think it would mean that camera would be stuck in one of it's three wavelength settings.
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Old 24th September 2022, 10:39 AM   #1261
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Originally Posted by RecoveringYuppy View Post
How bad is this news? Not sure, but if that wheel lost function I think it would mean that camera would be stuck in one of it's three wavelength settings.
Worse would be if it stuck in between settings.
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Old 24th September 2022, 01:02 PM   #1262
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Last time I checked, the reason Pluto was demoted was because if Pluto fits the definition, then potentially hundreds more objects would also be planets, and that's just too confusing and high effort for schoolteachers to keep up with.
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Old 25th September 2022, 02:28 AM   #1263
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Originally Posted by Jack by the hedge View Post
Strikes me that deciding what criteria do and don't qualify a body for the label "planet" isn't actually science, so the matter of science's honesty doesn't arise.
Yeah, this. It's not a scientific question so much as just agreeing upon a definition. It's going to be "arbitrary" just like defining the difference between an "island" and a "continent" is ultimately an arbitrary decision. We let Australia be a continent, but not Greenland. Also, why is Europe a continent? Isn't Europe just part of a larger continent called Eurasia?
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Old 25th September 2022, 11:59 AM   #1264
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Last time I checked, the reason Pluto was demoted was because if Pluto fits the definition, then potentially hundreds more objects would also be planets, and that's just too confusing and high effort for schoolteachers to keep up with.

Do anybody know why Ceres was demoted originally?
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Old 25th September 2022, 12:06 PM   #1265
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Originally Posted by steenkh View Post
Do anybody know why Ceres was demoted originally?
For exactly the same reason as Pluto.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ceres_(dwarf_planet)

Quote:
Originally considered a planet, it was reclassified as an asteroid in the 1850s after the discovery of dozens of other objects in similar orbits
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Old 25th September 2022, 01:12 PM   #1266
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This thread is about the JWST, the most expensive, advanced, powerful and incredible space telescope ever, yet there seems to be so little new images and information being published that this thread is relegated to debating what a planet is. Why such an apparent dearth of new images and information? Is it there but I’m missing it, or is it all just for the boffins now?

If they don’t keep the non-boffins in the loop some will start to make things up . . . “What are they hiding? Alien life? Big Bang/Expanding Universe models are wrong? Evidence of a god? The Earth is actually flat? Some reason we’re all doomed? etc?” . . . It’s a worry, I tells ya.
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Old 25th September 2022, 01:25 PM   #1267
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Well, for one thing it's not taking snapshots. Some of these projects take time to "expose" ("integrate" is a more correct word I suppose).
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Old 25th September 2022, 02:58 PM   #1268
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Originally Posted by ynot View Post
This thread is about the JWST, the most expensive, advanced, powerful and incredible space telescope ever, yet there seems to be so little new images and information being published that this thread is relegated to debating what a planet is. Why such an apparent dearth of new images and information? Is it there but I’m missing it, or is it all just for the boffins now?

If they don’t keep the non-boffins in the loop some will start to make things up . . . “What are they hiding? Alien life? Big Bang/Expanding Universe models are wrong? Evidence of a god? The Earth is actually flat? Some reason we’re all doomed? etc?” . . . It’s a worry, I tells ya.
https://blogs.nasa.gov/webb/2022/09/...hat-to-expect/

"Starting the week of Sep. 19, NASA will share a new Webb image or spectrum at least every other week. Check the Webb blog every other Monday to find out when to expect that week’s image."

So far we've seen Mars, Jupiter, and Neptune.

The actual science isn't being done by NASA per se. The team that proposed a particular observation gets some privileged time with the data. Then it goes public.

If you want to see what is happening with that, you should check out arxiv:

https://arxiv.org/search/?query=jwst...&source=header
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Old 25th September 2022, 07:56 PM   #1269
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Originally Posted by Mike Helland View Post
The actual science isn't being done by NASA per se.
The team that proposed a particular observation gets
some privileged time with the data. Then it goes public.

According to this video, they get a full year.

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Old 26th September 2022, 06:32 AM   #1270
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Originally Posted by steenkh View Post
Do anybody know why Ceres was demoted originally?
Because they found a bunch of other smaller asteroids in similar orbits, and decided they needed a new category for them. Ceres got lumped in with the rest of the asteroids at that point.
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