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Activity Discussion Science & Technology How did Pluto became a dwraf planet

  • Kunal

    March 6, 2024 at 5:41 pm
    Not Helpful

    Pluto’s reclassification as a dwarf planet in 2006 was the result of a decision made by the International Astronomical Union (IAU), the governing body responsible for defining celestial objects. Prior to this decision, Pluto was considered the ninth planet of our solar system since its discovery in 1930.

    The reclassification was prompted by advancements in technology and our understanding of the outer solar system. In the early 2000s, several discoveries were made in the Kuiper Belt, a region beyond Neptune that contains numerous small icy objects. Some of these objects were found to be of similar size or even larger than Pluto.

    In 2005, the discovery of Eris, a trans-Neptunian object slightly larger than Pluto, raised questions about the definition of a planet. The IAU convened a meeting in 2006 to address this issue. They ultimately decided on a new definition for a planet, which led to the reclassification of Pluto.

    According to the IAU’s definition, a planet is a celestial body that orbits the Sun, is spherical in shape, and has cleared its orbit of other debris. Pluto met the first two criteria, but it failed to fulfill the third criterion. Its orbit overlaps with that of Neptune and crosses the path of other objects in the Kuiper Belt, so it was deemed not to have cleared its orbit.

    As a result, the IAU designated Pluto as a “dwarf planet,” a new category of celestial objects that includes Pluto and other similar-sized bodies that meet the first two criteria but not the third. Essentially, this means that while Pluto is still an interesting and significant object in our solar system, it is no longer considered a full-fledged planet.

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