posted on Oct, 9 2006 @ 05:20 AM
Whatever astronomers want to call it, Pluto should not be called a planet. It has much more in common with the thousands of objects in the
Kuiper Belt than it does with the eight major planets.
Mind you, I still think that the term "dwarf planet" is garbage.
On a side note, I find it astonishing that so many so called "experts" aren't able to grasp the meaning of "any object that has gravitationally
cleared the region of space in which it resides". They keep mentioning that plenty of objects cross the orbits of the eight major planets, but that
statement in itself makes it abundantly clear that they haven't got a clue what they're talking about.
In short, it means that the region to either side of the object's orbit (out to a certain distance) has been cleared of all low eccentricity, low
inclination objects. That's because objects of this type would be strongly perturbed every time that they caught up with the planet (or
vice versa). That just isn't true for objects with high eccentricity, high inclination orbits, because of the high relative velocities and infrequent
Obviously, you could then ask the question.......how far does this region need to extend from an object before it can be called a "planet" ? Well,
that's the $64,000 question, but it doesn't alter the fact that Pluto (and Eris for that matter) are insufficiently massive for this to happen on a
[edit on 9-10-2006 by Mogget]