Download e-book for iPad: Discovery and Classification in Astronomy: Controversy and by Steven J. Dick

By Steven J. Dick

ISBN-10: 1107033616

ISBN-13: 9781107033610

Astronomical discovery comprises greater than detecting whatever formerly unseen. The reclassification of Pluto as a dwarf planet in 2006, and the debate it generated, exhibits that discovery is a fancy and ongoing technique - one comprising numerous phases of analysis, interpretation, and realizing. starting from Galileo's statement of Jupiter's satellites, Saturn's jewelry, and celebrity clusters, to Herschel's nebulae and the trendy discovery of quasars and pulsars, Steven J. Dick's entire heritage identifies the concept that of "extended discovery" because the engine of growth in astronomy. The textual content strains greater than four hundred years of telescopic remark, exploring how the sign discoveries of latest astronomical items relate to and tell each other, and why controversies akin to Pluto's reclassification are standard within the box. the amount is whole with an in depth category process for identified periods of astronomical items, delivering scholars, researchers, and beginner observers a useful reference and advisor.

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Note 2 An IAU process will be established to assign borderline objects to the dwarf planet or to another category. Note 3 These currently include most of the Solar System asteroids, most Trans-Neptunian Objects (TNOs), comets, and other small bodies. The Pluto Affair The IAU further resolves: Pluto is a “dwarf planet” by the above definition and is recognized as the prototype of a new category of Trans-Neptunian Objects (note 1). Note 1. An IAU process will be established to select a name for this category.

But in the end the General Assembly voted that a dwarf planet would not be a planet. Of the approximately nine thousand IAU members, three thousand had attended the General Assembly over its two-week duration. As usual, only about 400 were present for the vote, most having had to return home to other duties. The final resolutions as passed, pointedly titled “Definition of a Planet in the Solar System” to exclude extrasolar planets, read as follows: The IAU therefore resolves that planets and other bodies, except satellites, in our Solar System be defined into three distinct categories in the following way:32 (1) (2) (3) A planet (note 1) is a celestial body that (a) is in orbit around the Sun, (b) has sufficient mass for its self-gravity to overcome rigid body forces so that it assumes a hydrostatic equilibrium (nearly round) shape, and (c) has cleared the neighbourhood around its orbit.

The Planet Definition Committee’s recommendation was accepted by the Executive Committee and shaped into a draft resolution during the month of July, but still had to be voted on by IAU members at the General Assembly the following August. If this resolution passed there would be twelve planets – the classical eight, the three plutons known at the time (Pluto, Charon, and Eris), and the dwarf planet Ceres. In order not to prejudice the issue in the media before the IAU assembled, the proposal was not released until the day after the General Assembly opened on August 15.

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Discovery and Classification in Astronomy: Controversy and Consensus by Steven J. Dick

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