Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Pluto Regains Its Title As Largest Object In Its Neighborhood

samzenpus posted about 6 months ago | from the back-on-top dept.

Space 138

sciencehabit writes "In 2005 astronomers discovered Pluto's biggest neighborhood rival: Eris, which they claimed definitely surpassed Pluto in size. Now, as astronomers report an analysis of methane gas in Pluto's atmosphere suggests that Pluto is about 2368 kilometers across, in which case it's larger than Eris and thus the champ of the Edgeworth-Kuiper belt, which boasts more than a thousand known objects revolving around the sun beyond Neptune's orbit."

cancel ×

138 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

And when Eris' atmosphere is measured... (0)

TWX (665546) | about 6 months ago | (#46510323)

...will it again reclaim the title?

Re:And when Eris' atmosphere is measured... (4, Informative)

cunniff (264218) | about 6 months ago | (#46510341)

From TFA:

Eris is just 2326 kilometers across—possibly smaller than Pluto, whose diameter is somewhere between 2300 and 2400 kilometers. The uncertainty arises because Pluto, unlike Eris, has air that complicates the interpretation of observational data.

Re:And when Eris' atmosphere is measured... (1)

butalearner (1235200) | about 6 months ago | (#46510821)

So here's a question: since we'll have much, much better data on Pluto in just over a year when New Horizons gets there, should we even bother looking right now? New Horizons took some awesome pictures of Jupiter's moons so I'm stoked to see what it finds when it gets to Pluto, but I'm having a hard time caring about this finding in the meantime (beyond the desire to once again check out Wikipedia's list of solar system objects by size [wikipedia.org] ).

Ah, the Planet Pluto (3, Insightful)

ackthpt (218170) | about 6 months ago | (#46510343)

I remember it well -- before the anti Pluto is a Planet conspiracy. Good to see it's getting some recognition, rather than more damnation.

Re:Ah, the Planet Pluto (-1, Troll)

sexconker (1179573) | about 6 months ago | (#46510465)

Seriously.
Pluto is a fucking planet. All the morons who herpderp about it not meeting the "requirements" for being a planet need to STFU. Any "requirements" are arbitrarily-defined. Pluto was a planet for both the common and technical definitions for quite some time. To later redefine the already arbitrary term is absurd. If you don't like the term planet, make a new term. Don't change an existing term that has widespread common and technical use, has been used in publications, etc. All you do is create ambiguity with regards to what definition someone means when they use the term. The same shit goes for "kibibytes" - you don't have to like kilobytes being 1024 bytes, but you do have to accept it. Adding "kibibytes" just creates confusion where there was none before.

Re:Ah, the Planet Pluto (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46510617)

1) With the discovery of the other clutter that could be considered within Pluto's orbit, it means that any consistent definition of a planet would either not include Pluto, would include Ceres, or would not include Mercury. After some bickering and debate, the guys who run the telescopes decided to start calling Pluto a dwarf planet, and toss Ceres, Eris, and a couple dozen other big rocks into that bucket.

2) 'Kilo' is the metric prefix for 1000, not 1024. There already was confusion between an OS's kilobyte and a storage manufacturer's kilobyte. Kibibyte is a lame hack to try to instill some semblance of binary order in a scenario where marketing will trump all such efforts.

I now return you to your regularly scheduled ranting.

Re:Ah, the Planet Pluto (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46510713)

OS's kilobyte and a storage manufacturer's kilobyte

Note, actually, several OSes (Mac OS in particular, but also some Linuxes) actually use the correct metric 1000 when computing disk sizes.

Re:Ah, the Planet Pluto (2)

I'm New Around Here (1154723) | about 6 months ago | (#46510717)

2) 'Kilo' is the metric prefix for 1000, not 1024. There already was confusion between an OS's kilobyte and a storage manufacturer's kilobyte. Kibibyte is a lame hack to try to instill some semblance of binary order in a scenario where marketing will trump all such efforts.

Some of us remember when storage manufacturers still used the correct definition of kilobytes and megabytes. It has been a while though.

I now return you to your regularly scheduled ranting.

Thank you, you are most considerate. :^)

Re:Ah, the Planet Pluto (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46510877)

Some of us remember when storage manufacturers still used the correct definition of kilobytes and megabytes. It has been a while though.

They still do use the correct definition. Some OSes (windows in particular) do not.

the IEEE, ISO and SI standards all agree that kilobyte means 1000 bytes, and megabyte means 1000000 bytes.

Re:Ah, the Planet Pluto (2)

Arker (91948) | about 6 months ago | (#46511249)

Why is it so hard for you aspyrons to understand that the meaning of a word is often dependent on context?

In a decimal context, kilo means 1000. In a binary context, it means 1024. Most of the people that pretend to have difficulty understanding this are actually making money from their 'confusion' - what's your excuse?

Re:Ah, the Planet Pluto (1)

dotgain (630123) | about 6 months ago | (#46511393)

A serial communications link would fit 'binary context' in my opinion. However, on a serial comms link, a megabit is 1,000,000 bits. An 8 bit data bus clocked at 1 MHz can shift 1,000,000 bytes of data per second. Again, this is very much in 'binary context'.

Re:Ah, the Planet Pluto (2)

AthanasiusKircher (1333179) | about 6 months ago | (#46511523)

Why is it so hard for you aspyrons to understand that the meaning of a word is often dependent on context?

Well, maybe because almost all the international standards organizations actually agree that there's a single meaning now (even though they disagreed in the past).

In a decimal context, kilo means 1000. In a binary context, it means 1024. Most of the people that pretend to have difficulty understanding this are actually making money from their 'confusion' - what's your excuse?

Look, what the GP said was factually accurate:

the IEEE, ISO and SI standards all agree that kilobyte means 1000 bytes, and megabyte means 1000000 bytes.

The IEC adopted these in 1998 [nist.gov] , leading to full adoption by the IEEE in 2005 [wikipedia.org] . SI explicitly defines [bipm.org] kilo ONLY to mean 1000, and though bytes are not technically SI units, they regard any other use of the prefixes as incorrect.

The only large body that has endorsed the use of your system in the past decade is JEDEC, though they insist on capital letters [wikipedia.org] , i.e., K, M, and G, instead of the standard SI lower-case. So, a kilobyte (kB) to them is actually 1000 bytes, while a Kilobyte (KB or K) is 1024.

Recently, if you read even JEDEC's standards from 2012 [jedec.org] , you'll note that they quote the IEEE standards and say the older style "frequently leads to confusion and is deprecated."

So, I don't know about the GP, but my "excuse" for following standard SI style is that basically all international standards bodies agree that "kilo" means 1000, and if you want to have a term for 1024, you should use something else.

Now, the reality of the world is that many hardware manufacturers and such still retain older deprecated usages. But GP's statement was basically accurate. There's no reason to go around insulting people when they state factual information.

You want to keep using a standard that has confused people for decades when the international standards organizations deprecate it because it's confusing? That's your choice. But what's your excuse for attacking people?

Re:Ah, the Planet Pluto (0)

Arker (91948) | about 6 months ago | (#46513887)

You appear to believe that argument from authority trumps sense. You have it backwards.

To put it another way, even if you got every committee of busy-bodies on the planet to agree that 2+2=3, they and you would still be wrong.

Re:Ah, the Planet Pluto (1)

Waffle Iron (339739) | about 6 months ago | (#46511099)

Some of us remember when storage manufacturers still used the correct definition of kilobytes and megabytes. It has been a while though.

Do you mean floppy disk manufacturers, who thought that a megabyte = 1000*1024?

Re:Ah, the Planet Pluto (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 6 months ago | (#46511339)

a kilobyte means 1000 bytes. A kibi means 1024 bytes.
Since binary is powers of 2., anyone who actually understand computers understand why kibi byte is more accurate and proper for the industry.

"...used the correct definition of kilobytes and megabytes"
No, it wan't correct, they where wrong Since it was how you used it when you learned it., you are emotional unable to come to terms with the accurate version.

And the name kibi is the result of decades of confusion, and concern that is old then the PC.

No, no, you keep assuming the manufactures are correct, because hell, why use logic and science when companies are always correct?

Re:Ah, the Planet Pluto (2)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 6 months ago | (#46511619)

a kilobyte means 1000 bytes.

That depends on what you think "means" means.

If I told a room full of people with a background in IT that my file was exactly one kilobyte, I'm pretty sure the vast majority would take me to mean, sans further information, 1024 bytes.Yes, kibibyte is unambiguous. But in most circumstances it's not that helpful to start throwing around obscure terms for the sake of avoiding the slim possibility of misinterpretation.

Re:Ah, the Planet Pluto (1)

AthanasiusKircher (1333179) | about 6 months ago | (#46511971)

But in most circumstances it's not that helpful to start throwing around obscure terms for the sake of avoiding the slim possibility of misinterpretation.

"Slim possibility"? Seriously? Some hardware types use the 1024 definition, while others use the 1000 definition. When talking about data transfer speed and other contexts "kilo" means 1000. (Bits, despite being the ultimate binary unit, seem to come in 1000s, while groups of 8 of them come in 1024s -- why?) Some software and OSes use 1024 (e.g. Windows); others use 1000 (e.g. many commands in Linux).

Yes, it's possible to navigate all these conflicting standards to have a general sense of when the prefix means one thing or the other. But it's hardly unambiguous to say "kilobyte" without knowing the context, and if you think otherwise, you're either ignorant or in denial. It would be much more efficient for the prefix always just to mean the same thing... and basically all international standards bodies agree.

Re:Ah, the Planet Pluto (1)

killhour (3468583) | about 6 months ago | (#46512699)

When we're talking about small files, it's not a huge deal. However, when we get into enterprise-level storage, you damn-well better be unambiguous. For instance, I design security systems for a living. If I have a customer with 100 1080p cameras that wants to retain video for at least a year at standard settings (8 FPS, H.264 encoding, 30% compression) recording 24/7, I would need to give them roughly 1 PB of storage. 1 PB of storage (1,000,000,000,000,000 bytes) is not even REMOTELY close to 1 PiB of storage (1,125,899,906,842,624 bytes). If I tell my supplier to give me a SAN with 1 PB of storage when I REALLY mean 1 PiB of storage, I'm going to be ~126TB short. That's a 5-figure screw-up that's going to come out of my paycheck (well, they'd probably just fire me, but you get the idea).

Re:Ah, the Planet Pluto (1)

Kjella (173770) | about 6 months ago | (#46512985)

But if you asked those same people how big one second of CD music (44.1 kHz, 16 bits/sample) is how many would answer 88.2 kB instead of ~86.13 kB? And how long does it take to transfer 100 MB over a 100 Mbit Ethernet connection, excluding overhead? Hint: If you answer 8 seconds, you're off by about 0.39 seconds. Really if you're on such a low level that the distinction matters, most people in IT would get it wrong. Personally I find the abbreviations useful for clarity, but I refuse to use the silly names. If I absolutely need to be precise verbally I'd use "binary kilobit", "decimal kilobit" or "base 2/10 kilobit" before I ever used kibibit.

Re:Ah, the Planet Pluto (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46512587)

You're fucking stupid and your grammar confirms it.

Re:Ah, the Planet Pluto (1)

swillden (191260) | about 6 months ago | (#46513683)

Some of us remember when storage manufacturers still used the correct definition of kilobytes and megabytes.

No, you don't.

The earliest mass storage devices all used powers of 10 definitions, just like hard drives do today. With very few exceptions that was the consistent approach up until the introduction of the floppy disk. When 8" floppies hit the market, IBM stuck with powers of 10, but DEC began using powers of two. When 5.25" floppies showed up all of the manufacturers -- including IBM -- had shifted to powers of two. This made sense because they all had sector sizes that were powers of two.

But then came 3.5" floppies. The double density disks stuck with nice powers of two -- 320 KB, 640 KB and 720 KB were 320*1024, 640*1024 and 720*1024, respectively. But then came high density, starting with the "1.44 MB" disk, which actually had 1.44 * 1000 * 1024 bytes. The 2.88 MB disk followed this same bizarre pattern.

Meanwhile, hard disk drives continued consistently using powers of 10, though almost always with a little rounding.

So, no, you don't remember when storage manufacturers used "the correct definition", unless by "correct definition" you mean the same one used today, and you're talking specifically about HDDs.

BTW, RAM wasn't always consistently measured with powers of two either. Various manufacturers made different choices. They eventually all settled on powers of two because otherwise they couldn't fully utilize the address lines. If you have 1000 words of memory you still need 10 address lines to address them all, so you might as well have 1024 words. The same applies to chip-based storage like flash and EEPROM, but not to the mechanical systems of spinning disks.

Re:Ah, the Planet Pluto (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about 6 months ago | (#46510733)

the guys who run the telescopes decided to start calling Pluto a dwarf planet

NO.

Some guys decided to start calling it a Dwarf Planet, after pretty much everyone else attending the IAU had gone home. They conspired to hold a meeting, without a full quorum and voted these BS standards into place. As disgusting a fixing of science as any effing millionaire/billionaire trying to rewrite school textbooks with whatever they personally would rather the youth of the nation end up spouting.

Re: Ah, the Planet Pluto (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46511281)

Like Mr. Gates and Common Core...

Re:Ah, the Planet Pluto (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 6 months ago | (#46511353)

Well, that's a complete lie.
Moron

Re:Ah, the Planet Pluto (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about 6 months ago | (#46511477)

Well, that's a complete lie.
Moron

How is it a lie? [bbc.co.uk]

Re:Ah, the Planet Pluto (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46513031)

What's wrong with a simple definition like "large enough to have an atmosphere and revolves around the sun and not another body"?

Wouldn't this include pluto but not any of the other similiar objects?

Re:Ah, the Planet Pluto (1)

Gavagai80 (1275204) | about 6 months ago | (#46513901)

Ceres, as well as Eris and probably lots of other trans-neptunian objects, are large enough to have an atmosphere and revolve around the sun and not another body. Defining atmosphere is tricky too.

Re:Ah, the Planet Pluto (-1)

frovingslosh (582462) | about 6 months ago | (#46510645)

Don't forget, they also redefined the term Astronomer when they started letting Tyson call himself an Astronomer. The man is a shameless self-promoter and a director of a planetarium, not an observatory. A planetarium where they do laser light shows for stoners to Grateful Dead or Pink Floyd music. Unlike some true astronomers who actually discovered a planet, Tyson's planet discovery count is negative one. That's why I prefer to call him a "dwarf astronomer".

Re:Ah, the Planet Pluto (2)

geekoid (135745) | about 6 months ago | (#46511367)

He calls him self an Astrophysicist.

I lie how you need to make shit up, deride a man with excellent credentials, and make fun of planetariums.

You are a fucker, and it's people like you that's killing science in America.

You don't need to discover a planet to be an astronomer, and Tyson had NOTHING TO DO WIT THE DEFINITION OF WHAT A PLANET IS, understand?

Re:Ah, the Planet Pluto (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46511487)

Because someone with a PhD in astrophysics, whose research helped establish the Type Ia Supernovae as the standard candle along with numerous other research projects is certainly not an Astronomer.

Someone needs to get themselves and it doesn't its not Tyson.

Re:Ah, the Planet Pluto (2)

S.O.B. (136083) | about 6 months ago | (#46511509)

Don't forget, they also redefined the term Astronomer when they started letting Tyson call himself an Astronomer. The man is a shameless self-promoter and a director of a planetarium, not an observatory. A planetarium where they do laser light shows for stoners to Grateful Dead or Pink Floyd music. Unlike some true astronomers who actually discovered a planet, Tyson's planet discovery count is negative one. That's why I prefer to call him a "dwarf astronomer".

Tyson's profiles at the Hayden Planetarium and the Planetary Society (where he is a board member) refer to him as an astrophysicist and astrophysics is a branch of astronomy. If other people refer to him as an astronomer, dwarf or otherwise, that's their mistake but he clearly identifies himself as an astrophysicist.

And yes he does do a lot of media appearances but so did Carl Sagan in his day.

Re:Ah, the Planet Pluto (1)

gmhowell (26755) | about 6 months ago | (#46513125)

If other people refer to him as an astronomer, dwarf or otherwise, that's their mistake but he clearly identifies himself as an astrophysicist.

I could refer to myself as the God Emperor of Arrakis, it doesn't make it so. Everyone knows that titles are only properly given by moistened bints tossing scimitars.

Re:Ah, the Planet Pluto (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46510663)

Seriously.
Pluto is a fucking planet. All the morons who herpderp about it not meeting the "requirements" for being a planet need to STFU. Any "requirements" are arbitrarily-defined. Pluto was a planet for both the common and technical definitions for quite some time. To later redefine the already arbitrary term is absurd. If you don't like the term planet, make a new term. Don't change an existing term that has widespread common and technical use, has been used in publications, etc. All you do is create ambiguity with regards to what definition someone means when they use the term. The same shit goes for "kibibytes" - you don't have to like kilobytes being 1024 bytes, but you do have to accept it. Adding "kibibytes" just creates confusion where there was none before.

Correct, the only designation of planet that is questionable is for Earth. That's just a big rock littered with assholes.

Re:Ah, the Planet Pluto (3, Insightful)

Shalaska (1964046) | about 6 months ago | (#46510679)

First off, Pluto was originally called a planet back before all of the objects that are in the same orbit as Pluto were spotted, thus under the definition that a planet must clear its orbit fails. Second if kilobytes are so clear and unambiguous, why do hard drive manufacturers consider them 1000 bytes when all computer scientists and programmers consider them 1024? http://www.glyphtech.com/suppo... [glyphtech.com]

Re:Ah, the Planet Pluto (2)

Xenx (2211586) | about 6 months ago | (#46510969)

Because it's a truthful lie to make the drives look bigger, as was pointed out in the link you provided. The sole cause of confusion, was marketing people wanting to pad their products stats. This could all of been solve quickly in the beginning by firmly defining kilobytes(etc) and forcing manufacturers to uphold truth in advertising.

Re:Ah, the Planet Pluto (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 6 months ago | (#46511409)

kilo = 1000. From before computer existed. You may not have realized it, but 1000x1024 produces a completely different number then 1024x1024. I know, shocking.
So to say a kilo is 1024 in the computer industry is inaccurate and misleading.
What we need was a name for 1024, which we now have.

Are you seriously saying we should re-define the metric system?

Re:Ah, the Planet Pluto (2)

cheesybagel (670288) | about 6 months ago | (#46511925)

Some people know that human language is context sensitive and adjust their expectations of meaning conforming to context. WTF is wrong with KB meaning 1024 bytes? The only problem was hard disk manufacturers and their BS propaganda. No one else uses their definition.

Re:Ah, the Planet Pluto (1)

AthanasiusKircher (1333179) | about 6 months ago | (#46512035)

The only problem was hard disk manufacturers and their BS propaganda. No one else uses their definition.

Well, only them and just about every international standards body that actually defines units, including engineering and electronics bodies (e.g. IEEE, JEDEC still allows something like the old 1024 standard, but notes it is deprecated).

Also, various other hardware manufacturers, various software (e.g. many Linux commands), data transfer rates and other things measured in bits rather than bytes, etc., etc.

Re:Ah, the Planet Pluto (1)

Xenx (2211586) | about 6 months ago | (#46512253)

Just because some people use the newer naming convention doesn't make either one wrong/right(better/worse). They should of codified kilobytes(etc) earlier on, before it actually became an issue. The standards from the IEC didn't come into place until after the non-codified standard was entrenched. There was no reason to change it, aside from sticking their nose in things. It was a well understood naming convention for the number of bytes. To prevent the people(marketing departments) from abusing the situation, they could of used the defacto standard as the official standard.

Re:Ah, the Planet Pluto (2)

Waffle Iron (339739) | about 6 months ago | (#46512363)

WTF is wrong with KB meaning 1024 bytes?

If it were just KB, that would only be somewhat annoying and confusing, like US vs imperial pints.

But when you introduce binary MB and GB they all have to be mixed, and it becomes absolutely infuriating. It makes doing the math to figure out how much stuff will fit on a drive almost as hard as using Roman numerals.

You're basically changing the radix of your numbers depending on their magnitude, for no good reason. (Disk drives have never had any capacity factor physically based on any power of two.) That's just stupid.

I can't fathom why some people get so angry because they think that drive manufacturers are trying to cheat them out of a couple of percent capacity, when it's been common knowledge for decades. But for some reason these same people don't mind having to break out a calculator to help them do what would often otherwise be trivial mental arithmetic.

Re:Ah, the Planet Pluto (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46510681)

The add something random in because that's the way we've always done it thing worked fine for English for centuries (aeiou and sometimes y), so I just don't get why the hell it can't work fine for the definition of planet. Planets are xy and z, and pluto. Done. Everyone is happy. Elementary science textbooks across the world don't need updating.

Re:Ah, the Planet Pluto (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 6 months ago | (#46511261)

Pluto IS a planet. By the very definition of planet, deriving from the Greek aster planetes, meaning "wandering star". And it is about as much a wandering star as any other planet.

So either it is a planet or none of the other planets it a planet. Make your choice.

Re:Ah, the Planet Pluto (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46511421)

Pluto IS a planet. By the very definition of planet, deriving from the Greek aster planetes, meaning "wandering star". And it is about as much a wandering star as any other planet.

So either it is a planet or none of the other planets it a planet. Make your choice.

Except that since Pluto is not visible in the night sky, it would fail the definition of "star" on which that definition of "planet" is based and would therefore still not be a planet.

bogus claim (1)

frovingslosh (582462) | about 6 months ago | (#46512365)

By that logic Neptune and Uranus are not visible to the naked eye, so they would not be planets either. And Mercury is never in the night sky. And Earth is never seen in the night sky. Your logic would be more damaging to the count of planets than even Tyson arbitrarily deciding that he didn't want to count Pluto as a planet and so removing it from Hayden displays.

Re:Ah, the Planet Pluto (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46511543)

Definitions evolve over time. If we use your definition, then there is no size requirements and we have more than 600000 planets
MPC Archive Statistics [minorplanetcenter.net]

Re:Ah, the Planet Pluto (2)

DanielRavenNest (107550) | about 6 months ago | (#46512627)

In fact, actual astronomers refer to all the solid objects that orbit the Sun as "planets". The come in three sizes: major planet, dwarf planet, and minor planet. The IAU Minor Planet Center ( http://www.minorplanetcenter.n... [minorplanetcenter.net] ) tracks all those things otherwise known as "asteroids".

The exact dividing lines are:

Major Planet - Round, and massive enough to have "cleared" it's orbit of other large object (it's the dominant mass in it's orbital region)
Dwarf Planet - Round, but has not cleared it's orbit, thus Ceres and Pluto fall into this category.
Minor Planet - Too small to become round under it's own gravity.

As a note, the stuff that got "cleared" falls into three groups: impacted one of the other planets and got absorbed, kicked entirely out of the Solar System, or kicked into an eccentric orbit but not ejected. That last group is called the "Scattered Disk", and there are around 400 known objects in the category. They are separate from the Kuiper Belt, which is leftovers in the outer Solar System which have not really been moved in their orbits. There are about 1200 objects in the Kuiper Belt, inlcuing Pluto.

Re:Ah, the Planet Pluto (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 6 months ago | (#46511295)

So the experts need to STFU so a non expert like yourself can feel good about their childhood? You are the one who needs to STFU.

"Pluto was a planet for both the common and technical definitions for quite some time."
What definition? Pluto was call a planet when anything going around the sun was a planet; which was fine/. Now that we have learned a lot more it turns out that was a poor way to determine what a planet is.

Now there are specific requirement as to what a planet is, if it turns out the Pluto meets those requirements then t will be a planet.

" and technical use"
except it didn't. It was a useless term.

Kilo equaled a thousand before there where computers. the Computer industry incorrectly co=opted the name, and that was fixed in 1998.
kibibytes only makes an accurate definition.
I'm sorry you are too stupid to understand logical changes, and corrected definitions based on new data.
Really, nothing should change form how you learned it the first time, right?

Re:Ah, the Planet Pluto (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46511465)

So the experts need to STFU so a non expert like yourself can feel good about their childhood? You are the one who needs to STFU.

"Pluto was a planet for both the common and technical definitions for quite some time."
What definition? Pluto was call a planet when anything going around the sun was a planet; which was fine/. Now that we have learned a lot more it turns out that was a poor way to determine what a planet is.

Now there are specific requirement as to what a planet is, if it turns out the Pluto meets those requirements then t will be a planet.

" and technical use"
except it didn't. It was a useless term.

Kilo equaled a thousand before there where computers. the Computer industry incorrectly co=opted the name, and that was fixed in 1998.
kibibytes only makes an accurate definition.
I'm sorry you are too stupid to understand logical changes, and corrected definitions based on new data.
Really, nothing should change form how you learned it the first time, right?

^^^ This is just how I would react if I was a Pluto denier/terrorist.

Re:Ah, the Planet Pluto (3, Insightful)

ChromaticDragon (1034458) | about 6 months ago | (#46511449)

If you believe there's some pedantic reason to keep Pluto as a planet, I have to ask whether you hold the same views regarding Ceres.

Ceres was "a planet for both the common and technical definitions for quite some time".

The circumstances surrounding demotion of Ceres and Pluto are rather similar. The timeframe either of the two were considered planets is also similar.

Now, what I find more interesting BOTH for this issue of Eris and Pluto and the argument over Planet classification is to look at MASS instead of diameter:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L... [wikipedia.org]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F... [wikipedia.org]

Look at this chart of bodies in our Solar System ranked by mass in a logarithmic chart. The eight planets unambiguously rank as the largest bodies. Eris still is more massive than Pluto. And all the dwarf planets are outranked by several moons.

Yes definitions are arbitrary. But the eight planets stand apart. It does make sense to align definitions to match such. In any case, the definitions OUGHT to be consistent. What criteria other than inertia of publications would you prefer that keeps Pluto IN yet leaves Ceres OUT?

Re:Ah, the Planet Pluto (2)

khallow (566160) | about 6 months ago | (#46512005)

In any case, the definitions OUGHT to be consistent. What criteria other than inertia of publications would you prefer that keeps Pluto IN yet leaves Ceres OUT?

The whole argument is retarded because it can't be extended to other star systems (many which don't have the nice structure of our Solar System). Currently, we have a naming scheme with "planets", "dwarf planets", and "exoplanets", yet only one of these three groups actually are planets. Please continue to lecture us on "consistency".

Re:Ah, the Planet Pluto (1)

rossdee (243626) | about 6 months ago | (#46512989)

Does the IAU even have jurisdiction over other star systems definitions of planets? Since they (the IAU) don't even live in the other systems. I think its up to the (aliens that live there) to name them.

Re:Ah, the Planet Pluto (1)

khallow (566160) | about 6 months ago | (#46513479)

Does the IAU even have jurisdiction over other star systems definitions of planets?

Yes.

Re:Ah, the Planet Pluto (1)

cheesybagel (670288) | about 6 months ago | (#46512015)

Who says we are interested in leaving Ceres out? I'm fine with keeping both in and Eris too for that matter.

If the IAU is too lazy to come up with names for the planets just call them 1,2,3,4,5,6,7... SOL-3. That sounds good.

Re:Ah, the Planet Pluto (1)

Xtifr (1323) | about 6 months ago | (#46512469)

I'm actually more interested in making Ceres an official planet. Pluto's a big comet. It comes from the Kuiper belt, and doesn't really resemble anything in the inner system. I can certainly understand giving it a different classification. Ceres, on the other hand, is more similar to Mercury than Mercury is to Jupiter, and I don't see any reason at all to classify it separately.

I can see using "cleared its orbit" to separate classes of planets, so Ceres can be a dwarf planet, but "dwarf planet" should be a type of planet! It's got planet right there in the name! We could even have other classes of planet, like Gas Giant, so the whole "Mercury is classified with Jupiter instead of Ceres" nonsense would be resolved.

Frankly, I'd just as soon see them drop any mention of orbits from the definition. Why *shouldn't* Luna and Ganymede and Titan be considered planets? They'd still be moons, but there's no reason something can't fit into more than one category.

Heck, there are so many more interesting features they could have used to define categories: does it have an atmosphere? Does it have its own satellites?

The current definition is a horrible compromise designed to piss off as many people as possible, without offering anything useful. I realize it was intended to try to rock the boat as little as possible, but it hasn't even done that!

Not a planet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46512377)

Hey Asshole,

Pluto's not a planet anymore.

As we learn things we update out definition.

Time to get over it and grow the fuck up.

Re:Ah, the Planet Pluto (1)

gmhowell (26755) | about 6 months ago | (#46513135)

Interesting moderation. I guess someone changed the definition of 'troll' while I wasn't looking.

Either that or your gored someone's sacred cow.

Re:Ah, the Planet Pluto (2)

rudy_wayne (414635) | about 6 months ago | (#46510493)

I remember it well -- before the anti Pluto is a Planet conspiracy. Good to see it's getting some recognition, rather than more damnation.

The whole "We changed our mind and decided that Pluto isn't a planet" is bullshit. Just say that Pluto and Eris are both planets and be done with it.

Re:Ah, the Planet Pluto (1)

Minwee (522556) | about 6 months ago | (#46510797)

But you don't have a problem with Ceres no longer being a planet?

Typical orbitist prejudice.

Re:Ah, the Planet Pluto (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 6 months ago | (#46511275)

I have no problem with Ceres being a planet, too.

What is that bickering about calling some rocks planets and not others? Do they get some kind of government pension for being planets like them being some sort of veterans or what's the big deal?

Re:Ah, the Planet Pluto (2)

Jeff Flanagan (2981883) | about 6 months ago | (#46510835)

It sounds like you can't handle change. Pluto doesn't fit the definition of a planet. It's that simple.

Re:Ah, the Planet Pluto (3, Informative)

cheesybagel (670288) | about 6 months ago | (#46512045)

Because the definition of what is a planet changed. For no good reason at all.

Re:Ah, the Planet Pluto (1)

Tim the Gecko (745081) | about 6 months ago | (#46510839)

19th Century: Saying "We changed our mind and decided that Ceres isn't a planet" is bad. Just say that Ceres and Pallas and Vesta and Hyperion and ... and ... and ... and ... are planets and be done with it.

Re:Ah, the Planet Pluto (1)

Xtifr (1323) | about 6 months ago | (#46512481)

Except that only Ceres is big enough to have become a spheroid under the pressure of its own gravity. Which is actually a pretty significant feature (unlike the orbit nonsense), and a fairly solid reason for putting something in a separate category from "random rock".

Vesta was actually on the bubble for a while. Despite the big chunk missing from one side, the final decision about whether it would be a dwarf planet or asteroid wasn't made until the Dawn mission gave us a better close-up look.

Re:Ah, the Planet Pluto (2)

Valdrax (32670) | about 6 months ago | (#46510875)

The whole "We changed our mind and decided that Pluto isn't a planet" is bullshit. Just say that Pluto and Eris are both planets and be done with it.

Define "planet" in a meaningful, non-arbitrary way that does not include dozens of other bodies not traditionally recognized as planets in our solar system (e.g. Ceres). It's believed the Kuiper belt has hundreds of dwarf planets. You want to promote them all just to not have to give up a mnemonic from childhood?

Re:Ah, the Planet Pluto (2)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about 6 months ago | (#46510921)

Sure. All objects named after the God of The Underworld and radioactive elements Shalt Be Planets.

It's not arbitrary either because I say so.

Re:Ah, the Planet Pluto (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46511283)

So to get Pluto back you want to sacrifice Mercury, Venus, Earth, Jupiter, and Saturn?

Re:Ah, the Planet Pluto (1)

cheesybagel (670288) | about 6 months ago | (#46512057)

Its as arbitrary as declaring Pluto not to be a planet.

Re:Ah, the Planet Pluto (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 6 months ago | (#46511383)

Anything that orbits the Sun directly in a fairly circular orbit is a planet. Why shouldn't Ceres be one?

And with stuff like Wikipedia, who the hell needs to remember something like that? If you really need to do a classification, go for the time of their discovery, i.e. split them up in 3 groups, the "ancient" ones (Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Satur), the "modern" ones (Uranus, Ceres, Neptune) and the "new" ones (everything since).

Where's the big deal?

Re:Ah, the Planet Pluto (1)

cheesybagel (670288) | about 6 months ago | (#46512065)

Yes! Why shouldn't it be a planet too. It costs the same.

Re:Ah, the Planet Pluto (1)

Valdrax (32670) | about 6 months ago | (#46512121)

Anything that orbits the Sun directly in a fairly circular orbit is a planet. Why shouldn't Ceres be one?

Do comets count? How "off" of an orbit do you have to be not to count (and yet for Pluto to count).

Where's the big deal?

Where's the big deal in Pluto not being a planet?

Re:Ah, the Planet Pluto (1)

DanielRavenNest (107550) | about 6 months ago | (#46512725)

> Do comets count?

The distinction between comets and asteroids is no longer scientifically valid. By composition, comets and outer Solar System bodies are the same. Comets just happen to have orbits that get so close to the Sun they evaporate water and other ices and create a tail. There are intermediate bodies in the asteroid belt and out to about Saturn that give off just a little outgassing, but not enough to create a full tail. "Dead comets" have comet-like orbits, but no longer have any volatiles to outgas, and so are indistinguishable from asteroids otherwise.

The modern way to distinguish these small Solar System bodies is:

- Never got close to the Sun, and still has all the volatiles (water, methane, etc.)
- Sometimes gets close to the Sun, and still boils off volatiles when it does
- Has spent too much time close to the Sun, and has been baked dry.

Those are verbose descriptions, so I like to borrow from steak terminology and call them Raw, Still Juicy, and Overcooked.

Re:Ah, the Planet Pluto (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 6 months ago | (#46513805)

The big deal with Pluto not being a planet is simply that we have to pull together a whole lot of arbitrary definitions to exclude it. Which may turn into a whole different set of nightmares (like, say, "orbital clearing". What about the Trojans? Is Jupiter no planet anymore now? Or do the other objects in the orbit have to have a certain size compared to the "main" body to be considered "negligible"? How much mass compared to the main body may they have? Or do they have to be independent (i.e. not at a Lagrange-point)? And can we actually say for sure that they're not, considering we can't calculate the mass for some KBOs sensible yet?)

Now please tell me that including Ceres and Pluto wouldn't create a much more "stable" definition of "planet".

Re:Ah, the Planet Pluto (2)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 6 months ago | (#46511661)

a mnemonic from childhood?

Mary's "Virgin" Excuse Made Joseph Suspect Upstairs Neighbour.

Re:Ah, the Planet Pluto (1)

Zynder (2773551) | about 6 months ago | (#46512683)

OMG!! It is supposed to be: Mary's Virgin Excuse Made Joseph Suspect Upstairs Neighbour's PENIS!

PLUTO- NEVER FORGET!

Re:Ah, the Planet Pluto (1)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | about 6 months ago | (#46511559)

Don't forget Sedna and Quaoar. and Makemake, and Varuna and...

Re:Ah, the Planet Pluto (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46512723)

None of those count because due to modern day PC bullshit, they do not have Roman names.

Re:Ah, the Planet Pluto (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 6 months ago | (#46511237)

But ... wouldn't damnation be fitting with something named Pluto?

TNOs are hard to measure accurately (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46510383)

They don't even know how many moons Pluto has. New Horizons is going to get there next year and then we'll see who's calling Pluto a dwarf planet.

Re:TNOs are hard to measure accurately (1)

Tablizer (95088) | about 6 months ago | (#46511549)

They don't even know how many moons Pluto has. New Horizons is going to get there next year and...

I think they've counted around 5 so far, which is a lot of moons for such a small body such that they suspect these moons are debris from a relatively-recent collision.

This could mean that Pluto has a kind of ring and that the coming probe is doomed if it gets too near. They may decide to steer it further out, skipping close-up observations, unfortunately.

There were similar issues with the Voyager probes near Saturn as they didn't know the full extent of the rings at the time. They used the rusty Pioneer 11 probe as a guinea-pig to test the ring gaps. It really was a "pioneer", ready to take an arrow in the back for Voyager. But we don't have that luxury with New Horizons.

Re:TNOs are hard to measure accurately (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46513209)

According to the latest hazard avoidance models New Horizons is actually aimed at a gap in any predicted debris fields: it's going to pass through a space thought to be cleared out by Charon. Worst comes to worst they can swivel the high gain antenna around and use it as a shield, but it's not ideal since the science instruments have to be pointed at Pluto to work (they have fixed orientations).

My Very Educated Mother... (2, Funny)

uCallHimDrJ0NES (2546640) | about 6 months ago | (#46510421)

...Just Served Us Nine Pizzas for the first time in YEARS. We were all getting tired of her serving us Nothing.

Re:My Very Educated Mother... (1)

bob_super (3391281) | about 6 months ago | (#46510555)

The problem is to add 6 words [wikipedia.org] to this sentence, as of today's count

Re:My Very Educated Mother... (1)

uCallHimDrJ0NES (2546640) | about 6 months ago | (#46510637)

LOL...I suspect the problem is more likely to be getting the community to accept any full new sentence. Seriously, it's pizza or nothing, man.

It's a trick (2)

Nimey (114278) | about 6 months ago | (#46510577)

Eris is a tricksy one.

Re:It's a trick (1)

Another, completely (812244) | about 6 months ago | (#46511285)

If I had points, I would vote you up. My pineal gland told me to. It also told me to pass the cheese dip, but I'm out of crackers.

Re:It's a trick (1)

Nimey (114278) | about 6 months ago | (#46512089)

There is no cilantro.

Yo Momma's so Fat. (1, Funny)

wisnoskij (1206448) | about 6 months ago | (#46510627)

Her title of largest object in her neighbourhood was reclaimed by Pluto.

Re:Yo Momma's so Fat. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46512705)

Wouldn't that imply she is no longer fat? Maybe she started the good ol fashioned Jenny Crank diet and lost a lot of weight. We are talking about yo mamma afterall.....

Re:Yo Momma's so Fat. (1)

mjwx (966435) | about 6 months ago | (#46512739)

I was once thrown out of a IAU conference for reclassifying Neil DeGrasse Tyson's mother as a dwarf planet.

There's only onw solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46510735)

Colonize Pluto now! It makes sense, right?

Take the Hitler challenge! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46510791)

Read the Ford translation of Mein Kampf and see if it doesn't make sense in these troubled times!

srponge (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46510793)

Now it the fucking Edgeworth-Kuiper belt? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46510837)

Wrong. It's the Kuiper belt. Just like it's been for decades. I don't give a shit if you're retroactively giving some dude co-credit, or if someone bought the naming rights from Stars.com, or if Obama himself signed an executive order bypassing Congress to rename it. I'm sick of shit like this changing. It's bullshit.

In Illinois Pluto is still a planet (1)

the_Bionic_lemming (446569) | about 6 months ago | (#46510873)

Pluto is still a planet in Illinois - Just thought I's toss it in :)

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/fulltext.asp?DocName=&SessionId=76&GA=96&DocTypeId=SR&DocNum=46&GAID=10/ [ilga.gov]

Re:In Illinois Pluto is still a planet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46511397)

Sucks to live in ill-annoys.

Definitions are for losers (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about 6 months ago | (#46511053)

The day we demoted Pluto from planethood everything started going downhill fast.

First thing we had the biggest recession since the Great Depression. Then there were as series of volcanic eruptions and earthquakes. And a DEMOCRAT was elected President! And then there is H1N1!!.

The fact is you do not want to denigrate objects named after Gods of the Underworld. Seriously you don't mess with stuff belonging to this guy. What if he curses you with a rain of Plutonium? eh?

It's conservation of size (2)

Yunzil (181064) | about 6 months ago | (#46511417)

Mercury is getting smaller and Pluto's getting lllaarrrrger.

Re:It's conservation of size (1)

styrotech (136124) | about 6 months ago | (#46513261)

What do you make of this?

Pluto Regains Title (1)

PPH (736903) | about 6 months ago | (#46513457)

"I float like a butterfly and sting like a bee." -- Pluto

Just call them "roughly the same size" (1)

YoungManKlaus (2773165) | about 6 months ago | (#46513907)

and we are done.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>