What Defines a Planet?

definition planet

What Defines a Planet?

Various theories are stated about planets since many centuries. With the time, many new discoveries were added to it and various abbreviations were made to these theories. The latest definition of planet was set in 2006 by the International Astronomical Union (IAU) was:

“Planet is celestial body in orbit around the Sun. It has sufficient mass so that it assumes a hydrostatic equilibrium nearly shape, and has cleared the neighborhood around its orbit.”

History of planets

In 1930, astronomers discovered that Pluto is the ninth planet present in solar system. It is accompanied by some asteroids and comets. In 1978, Charon was discovered as Pluto’s moon and led to some more conclusions. By measuring the orbit of Charon they estimated about the mass of Pluto. They found that mass of Pluto is much smaller than it was expected as earlier.

In the 1990s, astronomers began finding other objects named as Kuiper Belt Objects which were assumed to be as far as Pluto. Pluto became member of a new class of objects and some astronomers stopped referring to Pluto as a planet.

In 2000, the discovery of at least three bodies: Quaoar, Sedna and Eris. These bodies were compared with the size, shape and orbit of Pluto. Thus Pluto was reclassified.

Ceres who was considered a planet at the time of its discovery was subsequently treated as an asteroid later on.

The Pluto-Charon system was considered a double planet

Eris was regarded as a body in the scattered disk of the outer solar system.

Advantages of definition of planet

The definition of planet helped the astronomers and scientists to discover more ideas about solar system. They used the presence of a physical qualitative factor as its defining feature. Most of these definitions depended on a limiting quantity and hence gave the ideas about the size of whole solar system.

Definitions had the advantage of measuring an observable quality. Many more planets and objects were classified well by using the definition of planet as every object was compared to the size of planet and accordingly is classified.

Mysterious facts about Pluto were known after and it was clearly classified thereafter.

Thus definition of planet has helped us to know your nature and universe well. Many other amazing discoveries are going on about the features of planets, like except earth any of the planets sustain life or not. Thus inform yourself about the facts of universe and understand the nature well.

What Defines a Planet?

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