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Old 04-12-2018, 11:05 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Pluto's Moon Charon Now Has a Crater Called Dorothy

Pluto's Moon Charon Now Has a Crater Called Dorothy, Among Other Newly Named Features
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Up until July 2015, Pluto’s largest Moon, Charon, was just a pixel in terms of what we knew about it. That all changed when NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft zipped through the system, revealing craters, deep crevices, valleys, and mountains on the distant moon—surface features that now have formal names.

Dorothy, Butler, Kubrick, and Nemo—these are a sampling of the new names given to some Charon’s most distinctive surface features, as proposed by the New Horizons team and approved by the International Astronomical Union’s Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature. Some of the names, such as the Argo Chasma (a canyon) and Kubrick Mons (a mountain), were already in use by astronomers, but the IAU’s ruling now makes them official.
IAU's release, which includes the full list of new names: https://www.iau.org/news/pressreleases/detail/iau1803/
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Old 04-13-2018, 12:31 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I approve of this. Pluto is a large enough object for its surface features to be named, even though it isn't a planet.
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Old 04-13-2018, 04:15 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dakota Tebaldi View Post
I approve of this. Pluto is a large enough object for its surface features to be named, even though it isn't a planet.
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Pluto’s largest Moon, Charon
So, you didn't read the article and only came here to post a jab?
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Old 04-13-2018, 07:25 AM   #4 (permalink)
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So, you didn't read the article and only came here to post a jab?
Pluto's sooooo sensitive.
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Old 04-13-2018, 07:36 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Dakota Tebaldi View Post
I approve of this. Pluto is a large enough object for its surface features to be named, even though it isn't a planet.
Great. Now I get to put you on a list....
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Old 04-13-2018, 03:44 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Dakota Tebaldi View Post
I approve of this. Pluto is a large enough object for its surface features to be named, even though it isn't a planet.
YOU TAKE THAT BACK.

#OCCUPYPLUTO
#PLANETARYSOLIDARITY
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Old 04-13-2018, 06:22 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Free Xue View Post
Pluto's Moon Charon
Charon isn't a moon, the overgrown comet with delusions of full planethood designated Minor planet 134340 is actually a binary dwarf planet.

The other four bodies in the Pluto-Charon system are moons though.
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Old 04-13-2018, 06:33 PM   #8 (permalink)
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YOU TAKE THAT BACK.

#OCCUPYPLUTO
#PLANETARYSOLIDARITY
NO U
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Old 04-13-2018, 06:55 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Old 04-13-2018, 10:27 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CronoCloud Creeggan View Post
Charon isn't a moon, the overgrown comet with delusions of full planethood designated Minor planet 134340 is actually a binary dwarf planet.
Oh, Crono. Why such science?
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Old 04-14-2018, 05:19 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by CronoCloud Creeggan View Post
Charon isn't a moon...
I know. It's great. A celestial body which looked remarkably like the Death Star, and we at least got the chance to start a sentence with "That's no moon, it's a..."
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Old 04-14-2018, 05:27 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Old 04-14-2018, 05:57 PM   #13 (permalink)
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And the Curiosity rover is in a crater called Gale

I think I see a pattern.
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Old 04-14-2018, 06:01 PM   #14 (permalink)
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And the Curiosity rover is in a crater called Gale

I think I see a pattern.

Dorothy Yobs and Gale Boetticher....

BREAKING BAD
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Old 04-14-2018, 06:01 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Dakota Tebaldi View Post
I approve of this. Pluto is a large enough object for its surface features to be named, even though it isn't a planet.
Everything that orbits the Sun is a planet. We define three sizes, major planet (currently 8), dwarf planet (about 5, including Pluto), and minor planet (around 750,000). The Minor Planet Center tracks all the small stuff.
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Old 04-15-2018, 10:24 AM   #16 (permalink)
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I'd never looked into it. So, apparently, Pluto was demoted to a new Dwarf category because scientists didn't want to admit a tenth planet into list of planets orbiting the sun. Eris was discovered in 2005 (a picture of it was taken in October 21 2003, but it wasn't 'discovered' in the picture until January 5 2005).

The category 'dwarf planet' came about in August 24 2006. So there were ten named planets that orbited the sun for more than a year and a half. Though it's official name during it's reign as the tenth planet was 2003 UB313. Informally it was known until September 2006 as Xena.

Why'd Pluto need to get bumped because of Eris? Because Eris is both larger (mass) and smaller (volume). That and the idea that there might be at least 200 dwarf planets out there, though only 5 had been found as of the picture below (October 27 2017). So our solar system could have ended up with an official list of 208 (or more) planets that orbit the sun (as opposed to 'planet-like' things in the solar system, since Earth's moon, for example, is larger than all known dwarf planets - if you included everything planet like, there'd be more than 500,000 planets on the list (there's currently, apparently, 500,000 with an official number designation, and ~20,000 with an official name).




With a vote of 'won't say', the official definition (Resolution 5A: "Definition of Planet" was not counted but was passed with a great majority.):
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The IAU therefore resolves that planets and other bodies in our Solar System, except satellites, be defined into three distinct categories in the following way:

(1) A "planet" [1] is a celestial body that (a) is in orbit around the Sun, (b) has sufficient mass for its self-gravity to overcome rigid body forces so that it assumes a hydrostatic equilibrium (nearly round) shape, and (c) has cleared the neighbourhood around its orbit.

(2) A "dwarf planet" is a celestial body that (a) is in orbit around the Sun, (b) has sufficient mass for its self-gravity to overcome rigid body forces so that it assumes a hydrostatic equilibrium (nearly round) shape [2], (c) has not cleared the neighbourhood around its orbit, and

(d) is not a satellite.

(3) All other objects [3], except satellites, orbiting the Sun shall be referred to collectively as "Small Solar-System Bodies".
Resolution 5B: "Definition of Classical Planet" had 91 votes in favour, but many more against so there was no count.
Resolution 6A: "Definition of Pluto-class objects" was passed with 237 votes in favour, 157 against and 17 abstentions.
Resolution 6B: "Definition of Plutonian Objects" had 183 votes in favour and 186 votes against.

So, apparently, the reason Pluto isn't a major planet is because "has not cleared the neighbourhood around its orbit" . . . whatever that means. Not because of size. (only thing different between 'planet' and 'dwarf planet' in the resolution is the neighbourhood thing and not being a satelitte).

https://www.iau.org/news/pressreleases/detail/iau0603/

Hmm. The 'cleared' language isn't in the proposed draft resolution.
https://www.iau.org/news/pressreleases/detail/iau0601/
And that also indicates that we might have ended up with 12 planets. The 10 mentioned above, plus Charon and Ceres.

The final version that got voted on has the cleared language but doesn't define what is meant by 'cleared the neighbourhood around its orbit'.
https://www.iau.org/news/pressreleases/detail/iau0602/
The final version of the resolution has 8 listed planets, dropping Pluto.

So, something happened between draft and final version. Draft has a date of August 16 2006. Final version has a date of August 24 2006.

We could have ended up with 12 planets. Except for that cleared thing that apparently became majorly important, without explanation.

Quote:
“Cleared the neighborhood” means that the “planet” has to be the dominant gravitational body in their orbit around the sun. This means that the “planet” has to cruise its orbit while consuming or slinging away smaller objects in its orbital path. Pluto is only .007 times the mass of the other objects in its orbit.Aug 25, 2017
Ah - no other object can be in it's orbital path - it has to be 'consumed' or slung away. So, Pluto isn't a major planet because there are other objects in its orbital path that it isn't dominant to. Pluto is too submissive to be a major planet, eh? Submissive planets get no respect.
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Old 04-15-2018, 11:45 AM   #17 (permalink)
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There was a huge fracas over how to come up with a definition that fit the predetermined result they wanted. It was hard to come up with a non-handwavy definition that included the Earth and excluded Pluto and the Moon (the Moon is a problem, because the Moon's orbit is convex to the Sun and so it's technically actually in orbit around the sun). It's strictly political.

I think they should say the Solar System has 4 planets and a bunch of debris.
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Old 04-15-2018, 12:30 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Huh, I did not know that about the moon. Thanks.
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Old 04-15-2018, 08:49 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Ah - no other object can be in it's orbital path - it has to be 'consumed' or slung away. So, Pluto isn't a major planet because there are other objects in its orbital path that it isn't dominant to. Pluto is too submissive to be a major planet, eh? Submissive planets get no respect.
It's not correct that no other object can be in the neighborhood. For example, the first plot below shows the orbits of the four inner planets (Mercury to Mars - the four blue circles), along with today's location of all the known "Near-Earth Asteroids" (red dots), and Main Belt Asteroids (green dots). As you can see, they are all over the place.

"Cleared it's neighborhood" means sufficiently larger than anything else that it has kicked out or absorbed anything "significant", meaning more than 1% it's size. All the major planets have done this. The Near-Earth asteroids are small, and temporary, with half-life of 10 million years.

Pluto is in fact Neptune's gravitational bitch. It is locked in a 3:2 resonance orbit, going around the Sun twice for every 3 times Neptune does, and it actually crosses Neptune's orbit. Neptune has it on a leash because it is 7,866 times more massive.

The second plot shows the outer Solar System with the orbits of Jupiter through Neptune (blue circles), and the current position of other known objects. The "Plutinos", all the other objects locked in 3:2 orbits with Neptune are the white dots. Pluto itself is the crossed circle above the letter "r" in Center near the bottom. Red dots are "Kuiper Belt Objects", which have independent orbits outside Neptune. As you can see, there are lots of them.

So Pluto got called a planet because between 1930 and 1992 it was the only known object whose orbit was larger than Neptune's. Today we know that there is 20-50 times Pluto's mass in the Kuiper Belt, and even more stuff further out. Our knowledge was just laughably incomplete.


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Old 04-15-2018, 10:49 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I move to make a 4th categpry of "Planets we like". This will include the standard 9 planets. The only scientific methodology we need to employ for qualifying is "because".

Problem. Solved.
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Old 04-16-2018, 04:20 AM   #21 (permalink)
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I think they should say the Solar System has 4 planets and a bunch of debris.
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Old 04-16-2018, 06:30 AM   #22 (permalink)
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(the Moon is a problem, because the Moon's orbit is convex to the Sun and so it's technically actually in orbit around the sun).
I don't understand what you are saying.
Are you talking of the barycenter?
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Old 04-16-2018, 07:12 AM   #23 (permalink)
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I don't understand what you are saying.
Are you talking of the barycenter?
If you plot the moon's orbit around the sun with the Earth masked out, the moon's orbit never goes concave to the sun, there's no retrograde motion. So it's as much in orbit around the sun as the Earth is.
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Old 04-17-2018, 02:47 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Quote:
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If you plot the moon's orbit around the sun with the Earth masked out, the moon's orbit never goes concave to the sun, there's no retrograde motion. So it's as much in orbit around the sun as the Earth is.
The bold doesn't really follow from the observation, though; it's more of an optical illusion based purely on the orbital velocity of the Earth-Moon system around the Sun, not on the Moon's own orbital mechanics. If the Earth orbited the Sun slower, the Moon would have a retrograde path while the Earth still would not.
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Old 04-17-2018, 02:53 PM   #25 (permalink)
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If the earth orbited the sun slow enough, Earth would also have brief retrograde periods because the center of its orbit is 3000 miles from the center of mass.

Also, if it was that far from the sun it wouldn't clear its orbit either.
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