Now, wait a sec, How many planets are there?

This is a discussion on Now, wait a sec, How many planets are there? within the A Brief History of Cprogramming.com forums, part of the Community Boards category; http://www.usatoday.com/tech/science...troversy_x.htm Was there always one between Mars and Jupiter, Cers? And Pluto's sister planet, Charon? And a planet is now: ...

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    The superhaterodyne twomers's Avatar
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    Now, wait a sec, How many planets are there?

    http://www.usatoday.com/tech/science...troversy_x.htm

    Was there always one between Mars and Jupiter, Cers? And Pluto's sister planet, Charon? And a planet is now: all round objects that orbit the Sun and do not orbit another planet. That not count asteroids? etc I also like the way they use what they're defining in the definition of a planet, ie, a planet

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    Registered User whiteflags's Avatar
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    Planets have an atmosphere. I realise that when most of the planets in our solar system were discovered that there was no way to know if they had atmospheres or not - that's not the point. "Scientists should show that they can admit mistakes and rectify them." I can also understand why scientists want to make categorizing easier for future discoveries but we can make those decisions when it happens. There is no reason to confuse ourselves further by making baseless nondefinitions.

    UB313? If it is really a planet in our solar system it should have the name of a god. In the interest of being neat, astronomers catalogue everything, but this doesn't mean we have to get lazy with common names.

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    Moderately Rabid Decrypt's Avatar
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    >That not count asteroids?
    Ceres is an asteroid. It is not currently considered a planet, but would be under the new definition.
    There is a difference between tedious and difficult.

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    Mayor of Awesometown Govtcheez's Avatar
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    > Planets have an atmosphere.

    Once known as a lowly moon, Luna will enjoy its new status as a planet.

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    carry on JaWiB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by citizen
    UB313? If it is really a planet in our solar system it should have the name of a god. In the interest of being neat, astronomers catalogue everything, but this doesn't mean we have to get lazy with common names.
    Similar names are good enough for the stargate program
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    Quote Originally Posted by citizen
    Planets have an atmosphere. I realise that when most of the planets in our solar system were discovered that there was no way to know if they had atmospheres or not - that's not the point.
    Pluto doesn't have an atmosphere. When it's close enough to the sun some of the ices melt, but it quickly escapes away. Mercury also has nearly no atmosphere.

    There are, however, some moons in the solar system that have a tenuous atmosphere.
    If you understand what you're doing, you're not learning anything.

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    Registered User whiteflags's Avatar
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    > Pluto doesn't have an atmosphere.
    And currently Pluto is not a planet. At least it's better than "anything round and within the Sun's orbit." I meant to add to that statement, not rewrite it. Sorry.
    Last edited by whiteflags; 08-17-2006 at 04:56 PM.

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    Moderately Rabid Decrypt's Avatar
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    >And currently Pluto is not a planet.

    Which planet are you living on? hahaha
    Currently Pluto's status is being debated within astronomical circles, but is still generally accepted as a planet.
    There is a difference between tedious and difficult.

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    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    Going back to the original post, it still under debate. Clearly it will not be approved. It's just too generalistic and a bit silly, IMO.

    It would be preferable to create a new official name for round objects that orbit the sun on which planets and asteroid-like objects could be fit. But arguably this is all the fault of astronomers who didn't really ever came to an agreement as to a concrete definition of what a planet is. This is not the first time some astronomers have came with ludicrous options.

    Probably this (hopefully) false start will stir that debate and soon we will have once and for all a complete definition. Some astronomers defend that the solution is to look back at how the various objects were formed and if they are evolving objects. This also brings the need to create a definition for proto objects and dead objects that is distinguished from that of a planet which resides in the middle of these two.
    The programmer’s wife tells him: “Run to the store and pick up a loaf of bread. If they have eggs, get a dozen.”
    The programmer comes home with 12 loaves of bread.


    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

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    Registered User whiteflags's Avatar
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    Well when I was in grade school I learned about nine planets and that was fine with me. They were at least a few thousand km in diameter, had atmospheres, and sped around the Sun. That's a very comprehensive logical definition. Mercury and Pluto can also not be a planet if the whole argument is going to revolve around that, but no one seems to be able to tell me if either Pluto or Mercury definitely do not have atmospheres.

    I also want to make it clear that I am not an astronomer, so arguing with me is a big waste of your time. *sighs*

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    Quote Originally Posted by citizen
    > Pluto doesn't have an atmosphere.
    And currently Pluto is not a planet.
    It has been since its discovery.

    http://www.exeter.ac.uk/Mirrors/nineplanets/

    It may not be considered a planet when all this debating is said and done, but it is currently a planet.
    If you understand what you're doing, you're not learning anything.

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    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Decrypt
    Currently Pluto's status is being debated within astronomical circles, but is still generally accepted as a planet.
    I wouldn't say generally. In fact a very representative number of scientists argues against Pluto definition as a planet for many years. Many are the reasons. It's size and mass being smaller than even the moon, the fact that it has asteroids in the Kuiper Belt bigger than it is (and equally round), the fact that it behaves exactly like a comet (it even has a layer of ice that is being slowly evaporated into space), and the fact that even its discovery was based under false premises and a lot of romanticism.

    Some astronomers go to the point of refusing to adop Pluto as a planet on their debates and conversations.
    The programmer’s wife tells him: “Run to the store and pick up a loaf of bread. If they have eggs, get a dozen.”
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    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

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    Registered User whiteflags's Avatar
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    The two stupid rocks at the opposite ends are going to be the bane of me as I write. Currently I am torn between explaining again (when I've defended myself well) or letting others voice there opinion. Or just pick on me and my innocent, logical, unambiguous definitions of planethood.

    I'm resting for now. I've run out of tea. If necessary I will come back with a minimal circumference for planets, but then a comet will come along which is smaller, has an atmosphere. and didn't escape the Sun's gravitational pull. Meanwhile I am waiting for a more square-shaped planet to appear, to prove my real belief: man knows nothing, he just gets better at guessing every time.

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    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by citizen
    man knows nothing, he just gets better at guessing every time.
    This is so true, it's painful. Until more knowledge is attained the whole debate does look like a clear sign we simply don't know enough yet. Defiitions do evolve with time.

    Pluto does have an atmosphere. But then and again, so do some asteroids
    The programmer’s wife tells him: “Run to the store and pick up a loaf of bread. If they have eggs, get a dozen.”
    The programmer comes home with 12 loaves of bread.


    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

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    The superhaterodyne twomers's Avatar
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    >> UB313? If it is really a planet in our solar system it should have the name of a god.
    They're naming it some time this week.


    >> It would be preferable to create a new official name for round objects that orbit the sun on which planets and asteroid-like objects could be fit.
    Well, if you read the link, , they're called plutonians or something.


    >> It has been since its discovery.
    They're questioning whether it really is a planet though at the moment. Isn't it mostly ice or something? It's generally defined as a planet (Pluto), amongst the non-scientists. Personally, I don't know enough to say whether or not I think it is a planet, but if that new definition holds, it's a planet!


    Isn't this a better definition - any celestial body (other than comets or satellites) that revolves around a star. Or - Planet is a literary magazine based in Wales. Sometimes, bless it, google doesn't really know what we want.


    Doesn't anything with any kind of gravity have an atmosphere? It's logical, so even asteroids and shooting stars must have an 'atmosphere' of some description. Just because it's not a large one, doesn't mean there's not one there. After all, an atmosphere is a 'the envelope of gases surrounding any celestial body', which can be anything!

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