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Latest Definition of planet Stories

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2006-08-16 06:55:00

PRAGUE, Czech Republic -- The universe really is expanding - astronomers are proposing to rewrite the textbooks to say that our solar system has 12 planets rather than the nine memorized by generations of schoolchildren. Much-maligned Pluto would remain a planet - and its largest moon plus two other heavenly bodies would join Earth's neighborhood - under a draft resolution to be formally presented Wednesday to the International Astronomical Union, the arbiter of what is and isn't a planet....

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2006-08-15 07:50:00

PRAGUE, Czech Republic -- Scientists have to agree on a universal definition for what qualifies as a planet, the head of a global astronomy organization said Tuesday, as scientists debate the future designation of Pluto. "People have to be able to agree on a terminology that's used to describe things in the universe," Ronald D. Ekers, president of the International Astronomical Union, told reporters in Prague. "We don't want an American version, a European version and a Japanese version."...

2006-08-13 11:55:53

By Alan Crosby PRAGUE (Reuters) - Despite being the farthest planet from Earth in our solar system, Pluto has come under attack from astronomers and may be about to lose its status in the battle. Some 3,000 astronomers and scientists from around the world will meet in Prague this week to decide whether Pluto, discovered in 1930, measures up to the definition of a planet. In defining for the first time what exactly a planet is, the International Astronomers Union (IAU) may be forced...

2006-08-13 11:55:00

By Alan Crosby PRAGUE -- Despite being the farthest planet from Earth in our solar system, Pluto has come under attack from astronomers and may be about to lose its status in the battle. Some 3,000 astronomers and scientists from around the world will meet in Prague this week to decide whether Pluto, discovered in 1930, measures up to the definition of a planet. In defining for the first time what exactly a planet is, the International Astronomers Union (IAU) may be forced to downgrade...

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2006-06-05 14:25:00

By Deborah Zabarenko WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Too lightweight to be stars but bigger than most planets, a handful of hot young free-floating objects have the raw materials to make their own mini-planetary systems, astronomers reported on Monday. Just like some young stars, these so-called planemos have disks of cosmic dust and gas circling them. These kinds of disks contain the ingredients for planets; astronomers believe Earth and the other planets in our solar system were forged from such a...

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2006-03-15 12:45:00

Hubble -- For the first time, astronomers have succeeded in weighing a binary pair of brown dwarfs and precisely measuring their diameters. These kinds of exact measurements are not possible when observing a single brown dwarf. Because their orbits are inclined edge-on to Earth, the dwarfs pass in front of each other, creating eclipses. This is the first brown dwarf-eclipsing binary ever discovered. The pair offers an unusual opportunity for accurately determining the masses and diameters of...

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2006-02-01 12:45:00

LOS ANGELES -- Scientists say they have confirmed that a so-called 10th planet discovered last year is bigger than Pluto, but that likely won't quell the debate over what makes a planet. The astronomers who spotted the icy, rocky body - informally called UB313 - had reported only a rough estimate of its size based on its brightness. But another group of researchers has come up with what is believed to be the first calculation of UB313's diameter. By measuring how much heat it radiates,...

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2006-01-30 09:25:00

Cambridge, MA -- Common wisdom among astronomers holds that most star systems in the Milky Way are multiple, consisting of two or more stars in orbit around each other. Common wisdom is wrong. A new study by Charles Lada of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) demonstrates that most star systems are made up of single stars. Since planets probably are easier to form around single stars, planets also may be more common than previously suspected. Astronomers have long known...

2005-12-15 12:52:05

PASADENA, Calif. (AP) -- Astronomers have spotted a swirling debris cloud around a sun-like star where terrestrial planets similar to Earth may be forming in a process that could shed light on the birth of the solar system. The star, located 137 light-years away, appears to possess an asteroid belt, a zone where the leftovers of failed planets collide. Terrestrial planets are those with rocky surfaces, as opposed to a gas composition. Scientists estimate the star is about 30 million years...

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2005-11-29 15:45:00

Cambridge, MA -- Astronomers using NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope have discovered a remarkably small brown dwarf surrounded by a dusty disk. The brown dwarf contains only about 8 times the mass of Jupiter, making it one of the smallest known brown dwarfs. It is even smaller than several planets around other stars, leading to the question of whether any objects that form from the disk around it should be considered planets or moons. "There are two camps when it comes to defining planets...


Word of the Day
cacodemon
  • An evil spirit; a devil.
  • A nightmare.
  • In astrology, the twelfth house of a scheme or figure of the heavens: so called from its signifying dreadful things, such as secret enemies, great losses, imprisonment, etc.
'Cacodemon' comes from a Greek term meaning 'evil genius.'
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