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Demotion Of Pluto Essay

1373 words - 6 pages

The controversy of Pluto can be observed from two
different perspectives, the scientific way and from the eyes
of the public audience. Towards scientists despite that the
solar system is exactly the same as it was in 2006, the
demotion of Pluto resulted into a less vague definition of
the word "Planet" and lead to a step forward in the life of
science and technology. Although Pluto has many
characteristics that make up a planet, it did not meet the
requirements of the new definition of the word "Planet"
that was proposed by the IAU. Those characteristics were, it
orbits around the sun, has sufficient mass to assume
hydrostatic equilibrium and has cleared the neighbourhood
around its orbit. However, the demotion of Pluto caused a
lot of arguments and debates between Astronomers.
Astronomers in favour of that decision thought it was a
revolution of science and the way it should be approached.
It wasn't until 2005 when Mike Brown discovered the
"Kuiper Belt" which was said to be bigger than Pluto and
the doubts about Pluto being considered as a planet raised.
Regardless of the amount of astronomers who agreed
about the demotion, a percentage of those scientists
thought that word "Planet" is too vague. Still, having
subcategories such as "Gas Giants", "Terrestrial Planets
(Pluto being one of them)" and "Asteroids". They also
thought that Pluto belonged there (Dwarf Planets) and it
would more interesting to study it in that way. For instance,
some scientists though that this was a chance to teach kids

that this is the nature of science. Things are always
changing so does our thoughts of how the solar system
works. On the other hand, many more astronomers
disagreed on this situation which lead to a couple of
protests because of different reasons. The most influential
reason for those protests was the lack of consensus. The
IAU consists of almost 10,000 astronomers, though, only 4%
have voted. In addition, astronomers who couldn't make it
to the Prague conference in 2006 were not allowed to vote
because they were not in the room. Another good point
mentioned was that none of the 8 planets that exist right
now have their orbits fully cleared which was supposed to
be a good reason to reconsider the demotion of Pluto, yet,
the IAU rejected that appeal.
In spite of the public audience having a weak argument
such as that Clyde Tombaugh (who discovered Pluto in
1930) was a hero and for that reason alone, Pluto's status
as full-fledged planet should be kept. Which shows that
there are more reasons pertaining to this issue that may
not have been considered by the IAU.
To make my methodology as accurate as possible, I
targeted the most important and worldwide newspapers.
That included CNN, BBC, NYTimes, The Guardian being my
main sources in terms of mass media. For comparison in
terms of accuracy, coverage of the story and the reliability
of the sources being mentioned in the mass media, and National Geographic both being a reliable
source of science...

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