Pluto a planet, and so are over 100 celestial bodies

Haze around Pluto appears blue in this image captured by New Horizons and processed to replicate the color a human eye would see

Now, scientists believe that "big" objects found in the Kuiper Belt as well as around the current planets should also be classified as planets, which would mean a drastic change for our solar system, which has remained relatively the same for most of its history. But Runyon argues that Pluto needs to be considered as a planet because it has all the on goings happening on the surface which could be found on other planets.

"It really takes blinders to not look at the solar system and see the profound differences between the eight planets in their stately circular orbits and then the millions and millions of tiny bodies flitting in and out between the planets and being tossed around by them".

"A simple paraphrase of our planet definition - especially suitable for elementary school students - could be, 'round objects in space that are smaller than stars", they add.

Stern points out several flaws in the IAU definition: it doesn't include "rogue planets" with no star to orbit, it requires planets to "clear their neighborhoods", which is impossible to do entirely since small objects are constantly entering and exiting planetary orbits, and it excludes dwarf planets while allowing radically different bodies like Mercury and Jupiter to enjoy planetary status.

The subject of what can be defined as a planet and the subsequent decision to demote Pluto as a non-planet by the IAU (International Astronomical Union) was a topic of debate and much deliberation in the scientific community. More than 10 years later, some scientists want Pluto to get its old title back.

Consequently Runyon and colleagues want to define a planet as "a sub-stellar mass body that has never undergone nuclear fusion" and that has enough gravitational heft to maintain a roughly round shape.

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This NASA's photo of Pluto was made from four images from New Horizons' Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) combined with color data from the Ralph instrument in this enhanced color global view released on July 24, 2015. The six-member team led by scientist Kirby Runyon are pitching to have 100 celestial bodies categorised as planets.

Icy, rocky Pluto had been the smallest of the nine planets; its diameter under three-quarters that of the moon and almost a fifth of Earth.

Otherwise Pluto does fit the IAU definition - it orbits the sun and it is massive enough that the forces of gravity have made it round. Most are closely affiliated with geology and other geosciences, thus making the new geophysical definition more useful than the IAU's astronomical definition. But that is now being monitored, says Timothy Dowling, an atmospheric scientist at the University of Louisville in Kentucky, who was not involved in the new work.

Io, Jupiter's innermost satellite, would also become a planet.

Additional authors of the paper are from the Southwest Research Institute, the National Optical Astronomy Observatory, the Lowell Observatory, and George Mason University.

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