The Status of Pluto Needs to Remain as a Planet.docx - The...

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The Status of Pluto Needs to Remain as aPlanetIntroductionThe heavenly bodies that fill the night sky filled our ancestors with awe and curiosity that led tothe investigation into what fills the world around us and the relationship of the world that we livein to the numerous celestial bodies that were discovered around us. This investigation goes on ina branch of study called astronomy. Technological advancements have allowed us to peer deepinto the space around us and discover many different kinds of celestial bodies, which we haveclassified into different types. The most commonly known among these classifications are thestars, planets moons, comets, and asteroids. These classifications were based on definitions thatwere created for the purpose of these classifications. For more than seven decades it was anaccepted and taught that our solar system consisted of the sun and nine planets, with Pluto beingthe ninth planet. In 2006, the International Astronomical Union by changing the definition of ourunderstanding of a planet removed Pluto from the list of planets and thereby reducing thenumber of planets to eight and thereby raising a controversy over this changed status of Plutoamong the heavenly bodies. This paper takes the perspective thatit was wrong to change thestatus of Pluto and it needs to remain as a planet.Our Solar SystemBefore taking up the issue of changed status of Pluto, let us examine our solar system, as wasaccepted before this change. Astronomers believe that the bulk of matter present in our solarsystem consists of helium and hydrogen that resulted from the “Big Bang” that occurred someeleven to sixteen billion years ago. The other chemical elements, which are less than onethousandth of the hydrogen present, came into being as a result of the nuclear reactions thatoccurred within the early generations of stars that were in existence between the “Big Bang” andthe origin of solar system about four and a half billion years ago. (1). The cloud fragment whichwas the basis of solar system is known as the solar nebulae. Gravity, rotation and heat gave shapeto our solar system. Deep within the solar nebulae, gravitational attraction was responsible forthe collapse of the gas and dust towards its centre and causing concentration of matter as theprotosun. Collision of atoms within the protosun increased with the increase in density leading toa dramatic rise in temperature at the core of the protosun. It was rotation of the solar nebulae thatprevented the collapse of all the matter of the nebulae into the protosun and the matter within thesolar nebulae that did not collapse into the protosun became the basis of the planets and otherbodies of our solar system. Collision was the cause of the formation of the planets. Over a fewhundred million years collision among the particles of matter in the outer solar nebulae led to theformation of larger objects called planetesimals, and from that into larger protoplanets, as a result

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Term
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Tags
Solar System, Planet, Neptune

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