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Comments

Cindy

I have a question. What consequences await me if I continue to refer to Pluto as a planet? Will I be attacked by a gang of angry astronomers?

Craig Heinke

Personally, I like the atmosphere idea (see http://astro.cas.cz/nuncius/appendix.html#heinke), though I think it makes me a "meanie" by your flowchart.
Anyway, I'm happy enough with the current definition. It'll be interesting to see whether enough Pluto-lovers go to Rio this summer to overturn the planet decision.

Michael Muno

Yes, Craig, it makes you doubly mean. By disqualifying Pluto's part time atmosphere, you drop both it and Mercury from the list of planets.

By the way, according to Wikipedia (I'm too lazy to use a book), the average pressure of Mars's atmosphere at its surface is less than 1% of the pressure of Earth's. So, if you find yourself really cranky during your next Edmonton winter, you can demote Mars too!

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It was a planet!! That was what I learned from my elementary days. But it then after further studies they claim that it wasn't.

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For me it is still a planet and will always be.

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