Latest International Astronomical Union Stories
By Andy Sullivan WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Hundreds of U.S. scientists have challenged a recent decision by an international astronomy group to strip Pluto of its planetary status with a petition rejecting its definition of what constitutes a planet.
If you woke up Thursday morning and sensed something was different about the world around you, you're absolutely right. Pluto is no longer a planet.
By Alan Crosby PRAGUE (Reuters) - Pluto was stripped of its status as a planet on Thursday when astronomers from around the world redefined it as a "dwarf planet," leaving just eight major planets in the solar system.
By Alan Crosby PRAGUE (Reuters) - Pluto was stripped of its status as a planet on Thursday when astronomers from around the world redefined it as a "dwarf planet," leaving just eight classical planets in the solar system.
In coming up with the definition of a planet, astronomers hoped to bring order to the way we look at solar systems. Instead, they created a big bang of their own.
Few planet hunters stand to gain as much as Michael Brown if our solar system balloons to 12 planets under a new definition. He's spotted more than a dozen objects that might qualify as planets. So why is he upset? "When I was a kid, planets were special," he said. "This definition takes the magic out of the solar system."
Learning the planets of our solar system is about to become more difficult for school children around the world.
The idea that our nine-planet solar system may soon join the obsolete world of eight-track tapes and slide rules should send science teachers, textbook writers and toymakers back to the cosmic drawing board.
By Alan Crosby PRAGUE (Reuters) - The question of whether Pluto is a real planet, hotly debated by scientists for decades, came to a head on Wednesday when the global astronomers' body proposed a definition of a planet that raises their number to 12 from nine.
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.
- Growing in low tufty patches.