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Is Is Pluto a planet? text glyph a planet or not?

Are there 8 Planets in our Solar System now?

For the story of how the outer planets Uranus, Neptune and finally Pluto were discovered., please go to the page on the planet Pluto. On August 24, 2006, the IAU defined a "planet" as an object that:

1) is in orbit around the Sun;

2) has sufficient mass to overcome its compressive strength and achieve hydrostatic equilibrium; i.e., a nearly round shape;

3) has cleared the neighborhood around its orbit of significantly sized bodies other than its own satellites;

Because other objects, one (Eris) even larger than Pluto, were being discovered in Pluto's neighborhood (the Kuiper Belt), Pluto lost its astronomical status as a planet. As of 2014 there are five officially recognized dwarf planets in our solar system: Eris (a TNO [trans-Neptunian object] larger than Pluto); Pluto a TNO in the Kuiper belt; Haumea (originally 2003 EL61, an elongated KBO longer than Pluto and with a moon); Makemake (2005 FY); and the asteroid Ceres. The four TNOs Sedna, Orcus, 2007 OR10, and Quaoar are virtually certain to eventually be included as dwarf planets. To this list we can probably add 2012 VP113 (nicknamed "Biden"), currently at 83 astronomical units from the Sun and co-discovered in March 2014 by Chad Trujillo, head of adaptive optics at the Gemini observatory in Hawaii.

The IAU has decided that unnamed TNOs with an absolute magnitude greater than +1 (at least 520 miles in diameter) will be named, under the assumption that they qualify as dwarf planets.

According to Mike Brown, Professor of Planetary Astronomy at the California Institute of Technology, as of Saturday, April 12, 2014, there are:

10 objects which are nearly certainly dwarf planets,

25 objects which are highly likely to be dwarf planets,

47 objects which are likely to be dwarf planets,

82 objects which are probably dwarf planets, and

345 objects which are possibly dwarf planets.

As of March, 2014 it was estimated that there are 10,000 or more dwarf planets in the solar system beyond the Kuiper belt. Astronomically speaking, there are currently only eight planets in the solar system: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. Although Pluto is no longer considered a planet by astronomers, almost all astrologers concur it is still manifests symbolically in the human psyche, whether or not it is called a planet. "A rose by any other name would smell as sweet" (Romeo and Juliet, William Shakespeare).

This Is Pluto a Planet or not a Planet page and much of this entire 600-page website are excerpted from the personalized Fine Art Book You and the Universe.


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Carl Woebcke, 1991-2016: Is Pluto a Planet or not a planet: 8 planets in Solar System. All rights reserved.