There might come a massive change in the solar system we live in. A group of NASA Scientists have come up with a proposal to upgrade our Moon’s status to a planet. And not only Moon, but also the satellites of Jupiter (Europa and Ganymede) and that of Saturn (Titan and Enceladus) have the potential of being called planets as per their manifesto! This would mean a modernisation of our entire solar system.
Alan Stern, who was the principal investigator of Nasa’s New Horizon’s mission to Pluto, with his five colleagues have come up with this proposal and they demand a change in the definition of a planet.
But this is not the only clause of the proposal. They have also brought up the International Astronomical Union (IAU)’s 2006 controversy where Pluto was downgraded because of its small size and similarities with the millions of other rocky bodies of our solar system.
It was Stern and his colleagues who had launched this mission to Pluto, and they firmly believe that Pluto lost its status wrongfully.
Stern and his colleagues wrote:
“In the mind of the public, the word ‘planet’ carries a significance lacking in other words used to describe planetary bodies, many members of the public assume that alleged ‘non-planet’s cease to be interesting enough to warrant scientific exploration. A common question we receive is, “Why did you send New Horizon’s to Pluto if it’s not a planet any more? ‘ To mitigate this unfortunate perception, we propose a new definition of planet.”
“In keeping with both sound and scientific classification and people’s intuition, we propose a geophysically based definition of planet that emphasises a body’s intrinsic physical properties over its extrinsic orbital properties. “
Quote courtesy: The Sunday Times, London.
So that means, Earth and Moon would be called twin-planet system. Well, if this proposal gets accepted, then our solar system will be added with more than 100 planets! *gulps nervously*
I wonder what that would mean to the school students.As a kid, it was pretty hard to memorise only eight planets in the right order, but now….well, I don’t even want to think about it! 😉
Anyway, jokes apart, I think this would bring about a huge change in all of our perceptions, well if only this proposal gets accepted.
So what do you think about this?
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