On the 24th of August in 2006, the International Astronomical Union declared that Pluto was not a planet. We had previously not had a clear definition of what was and was not a planet, which was fine while we were only looking at a low amount of celestial bodies in our solar system. As our ability to explore further regions increased, it became clear that Pluto had less in common with the “classical” planets and more in common with large asteroids being discovered near it, such as Ceres and Xena. There are over 40 of what are now known as “dwarf planets” and we are likely to find hundreds more: either they all had to be classed as planets or Pluto had to lose its position as our ninth planet.
Pluto has been voted off the island.
The distant, ice-covered world is no longer a true planet, according to a new definition of the term voted on by scientists today.
“Whoa! Pluto’s dead,” said astronomer Mike Brown, of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, as he watched a Webcast of the vote. “There are finally, officially, eight planets in the solar system.”
In a move that’s already generating controversy and will force textbooks to be rewritten, Pluto will now be dubbed a dwarf planet.
On the 24th of August in 2013, the following photographs taken from various vantage points in our solar system were taken:
And here are the superstars that took them:
Have you got a camera or a smart-phone?
Then be sure to take a photograph tomorrow! It’s so easy to join in.
All you have to do is send a tweet to @SatScenes with your photo and the location: all the rest happens automatically!
I’m looking forward to seeing your Saturday Scene in the next edition!