Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Pluto

Pluto is no more a Planet. The International Astronomical Union (IAU) delcared that Pluto now will be known as a "plutoid".

The new IAU definition of plutoid: "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 neighborhood around their orbit."

In short: small round things beyond Neptune that orbit the sun and have lots of rocky neighbors.

The IAU has changed the definition of "planet" so that Pluto no longer qualifies. There are now officially only eight planets in our solar system.

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