Revolutionizing Awareness

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Nine Planets Become 12 with Controversial New Definition

Posted by Admin on December 24, 2011

Update Aug. 17: Astronomers Sharply Divided on New Planet Definition

The tally of planets in our solar system would jump instantly to a dozen under a highly controversial new definition proposed by the International Astronomical Union (IAU).

Eventually there would be hundreds as more round objects are found beyond Neptune.

The proposal, which sources tell SPACE.com is gaining broad support, tries to plug a big gap in astronomy textbooks, which have never had a definition for the word “planet.” It addresses discoveries of Pluto-sized worlds that have in recent years pitched astronomers into heated debates over terminology.

The 12 planets under the newly proposed IAU definition. Planet sizes are shown to scale but their orbital distances are not to scale. CREDIT: IAU/Martin Kornmesser

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