Jim Bridenstine, the expert at NASA, is sure, that Pluto is a planet, not a dwarf.
During his speech at the International Astronautical Congress in Washington D.C., he told:
‘I am here to tell you, as the NASA Administrator, I believe Pluto should be a planet. Some people have argued that in order to be a planet, you need to clear your orbit around the sun. Well, what we now know is that if that’s the definition that we’re gonna use, you could really undercut all the planets. They’re all dwarf planets because there isn’t a planet that clears its entire orbit around the sun.’
Bridenstine said, that Pluto has an ocean under its surface, organic compounds on its surface and its own moons. So Pluto should be considered as a planet.
The International Astronomical Union established a definition of a planet in 2006. According to it, the planet should have clear orbit and be the largest gravitational force in its orbit. Pluto shares its orbit with frozen gases and Neptune’s gravity influences Pluto, so Pluto couldn’t be a planet.
But Bridenstine didn’t accept this definition and often repeated on a public event, for instance during a tour of the Aerospace Engineering Sciences Building at the University of Colorado, that Pluto is a planet.
A similar point of view has researched at the University of Central Florida in Orlando. They’ve prepared a study, which claims that the reason Pluto lost its planet status is ‘not valid’.
The authors of the research reviewed scientific literature from the past 200 years and found only one publication – from 1802 – that used the clearing-orbit requirement to classify planets. So it could be the main reason for defining planet status.
What do you think about this?