Plutoessay - 1 Katherine Gomez ENGL 2100 Argumentative...

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1 Katherine Gomez ENGL 2100 Argumentative Essay Essay: Pluto is not a planet For many years a great number of scientists have disputed the categorization of Pluto as a planet. To this day it is still difficult for some to call Pluto what it really is. But contrary to popular belief, Pluto is not a planet, but a dwarf planet. Pluto was later classified as Kuiper Belt Object as well. Since Pluto’s categorization is still new, many are not used to its new placement. In order to understand why Pluto is not a Planet, we must first know about Pluto’s qualities. Pluto lies just outside the orbit of Neptune; the eighth planet in our solar system. It is slightly smaller than our moon, but is 1.4 times denser than Earth. Unlike the other planets, the orbit of Pluto has been considered chaotic. Its orbit is “skewed, elongated into a region known as the Kuiper belt…” (Brown and Calvin, 2000). Pluto has three moons, but its largest is Charon (Brown and Calvin, 2000). As soon as the International Astronomical Union (IAU) discovered Pluto in 1930, it was considered a planet although the definition of a planet at the time was unclear. The Kuiper belt is the source that changed everything however. The Kuiper belt is a band of “ice dwarfs” that lies after Neptune’s orbit (Schilling, 2006). These icy particles are what are left over from the early years of our solar system. Many comets originate from the Kuiper belt and orbit around the Sun. The Kuiper belt accounted a lot for Pluto’s on and off again planet categorization.
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2 When Pluto was defined as a planet, the definition of a planet was “any sun- circling body big and massive enough to become spherical under its own self- gravity” (Schilling, 2006). However, when another dwarf planet that was 10% bigger than Pluto called Xena was found in the Kuiper belt, the IAU had to have a discussion and decide whether to admit Xena as a planet (Schilling, 2006). Xena, which was further into the Kuiper belt than Pluto, was potentially the 10 th planet. Seven people were asked to partake in this discussion. In the discussion, they not only admitted Xena as a planet, but they also admitted Ceres (which lies in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter) and any other large objects in the Kuiper belt (Schilling, 2006). Many opposed this decision because they said that this definition was strictly physical and did not include the orbits of the “planets” (Schilling, 2006). These people stated that the definition that was acquired only attributed physical properties of planets for the definition. It was argued that there was much more to being a planet than its size and composition. The seven went
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This note was uploaded on 10/14/2011 for the course ENGLISH 2 taught by Professor Harrison during the Fall '10 term at CUNY Brooklyn.

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Plutoessay - 1 Katherine Gomez ENGL 2100 Argumentative...

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