Is Pluto a Planet or Dwarf Planet?

Find out – Is Pluto a Planet or Dwarf Planet? Why Pluto is No Longer a Planet? What is a planet and dwarf planet?

Is Pluto a Planet?

Short answer – No, Pluto is no longer a Planet. It is a dwarf Planet.

It was originally classified as a planet, Pluto is now considered the largest member of a distinct population called the Kuiper belt. Pluto, considered a planet for 76 years, was reclassified as a dwarf planet in 2006.

What is a dwarf planet?

Pluto was found by Clyde W. Tombaugh in 1930. A dwarf planet, is a celestial body orbiting the Sun that is massive enough to be rounded by its own gravity but has not cleared its neighbouring region of planetesimals and is not a satellite. More explicitly, it has to have sufficient mass to overcome rigid body forces and achieve hydrostatic equilibrium.

What is a planet?

A planet is a large object such as Earth that orbits a star. It is smaller than a star, and it does not make light. Planets are ball-shaped (or spheres). Objects that orbit planets are called moons. Pluto used to be known as a planet, but in August 2006, a group of astronomers decided it should be called a dwarf planet instead. there are three main conditions for an object to be considered a ‘planet’:

  1. The object must be in orbit around the Sun.
  2. The object must be massive enough to be a sphere by its own gravitational force. More specifically, its own gravity should pull it into a shape of hydrostatic equilibrium.
  3. It must have cleared the neighbourhood around its orbit.

Pluto meet the first two conditions, but failed to meet the third condition, hence it is not a Planet. You can learn more about Pluto here at the wikipedia.

Number of Alien Civilizations ( Extraterrestrial Life ) In Our Galaxy

Based on Earth’s experience, some scientists view intelligent life on other planets as possible and the replication of this event elsewhere is at least plausible. The drake equation calculates the number of advanced civilizations in our galaxy.

Extraterrestrial life is life originating outside of the Earth. It is the subject of astrobiology and its existence remains hypothetical, because there is no credible evidence of extraterrestrial life which has been generally accepted by the scientific community.

The Drake equation is a famous result in the speculative fields of exobiology and the search for extraterrestrial intelligence. It can be used to predicate (read as calculate) the number of advanced civilizations in our galaxy right now. But the result are not accurate and lots of criticism involved.

Disagreement (ie general ignorance) over these numbers leads to estimates of the number intelligent civilisations in our galaxy that range from 10^-5 to 10^6.
i. panspermia predicts 37964.97 advanced civilisations in our galaxy with a standard deviation of 20.

ii. the rare life hypothesis predicts 361.2 advanced civilisations with an SD of 2

iii. the tortoise and hare hypothesis predicts 31573.52 with an SD of 20.

And the number of intelligent civilisations in our galaxy is…

Black Hole Pictures

Black hole pictures – about a theoretical region of space in which the gravitational field is so powerful that nothing, not even electromagnetic radiation.

A black hole is created when a giant star is died and it creates a region in space with extremely high gravitational field. The gravitational field so strong that nothing can escape from it. There are many popular myths concerning black holes, many of them perpetuated by Television and Hollywood movies. I strongly suggest you read this Nasa page which explains “Black Holes.”

Black holes

Black Holes videos

Picture credit wikpedia black hole article

CERN-LHC: What is big bang?

Many of my friends are not aware of the Big Bang and CERN experiment which may find answers to some of the biggest questions about our world and universe.

Many of my friends are not aware of the Big Bang and CERN experiment which may find answers to some of the biggest questions about our world and universe.

What is the big bang model?

According to the Big Bang model, the universe expanded from an extremely dense and hot state and continues to expand today. A common and useful analogy explains that space itself is expanding, carrying galaxies with it, like raisins in a rising loaf of bread. General relativistic cosmologies, however, do not actually ascribe any ‘physicality’ to space.

More about CERN and LHC

The European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) is the world’s largest particle physics laboratory, situated in the northwest suburbs of Geneva on the Franco-Swiss border.

The essential idea is that the universe has expanded from a primordial hot and dense initial condition at some finite time in the past and continues to expand to this day. The CERN is trying to create the big bang in a lab using LHC.

The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is the world’s largest and highest-energy particle accelerator complex, intended to collide opposing beams of protons charged with approximately 7 TeV of energy. Its main purpose is to explore the validity and limitations of the Standard Model, the current theoretical picture for particle physics. It is theorized that the collider will produce the Higgs boson, the observation of which could confirm the predictions and missing links in the Standard Model, and could explain how other elementary particles acquire properties such as mass.

The LHC has been in construction for some 13 years. According to BBC:

Scientists have hailed a successful switch-on for an enormous experiment which will recreate the conditions a few moments after the Big Bang.

They have now fired two beams of particles called protons around the 27km-long tunnel which houses the Large Hadron Collider (LHC).

The first beams were circulated through the collider on 10 September 2008, and the first high-energy collisions are planned to take place after the LHC is officially unveiled on 21 October 2008.

Understanding Birth of Our Solar System

Click on play button to view history of our solar system:

More information

Ice on Mars

Ice found on mars. Phoenix now seems to have confirmed that similar features on Mars are caused by the same processes as those on this planet.

Scientists say they found evidence of ice on Mars. Nasa’s Phoenix spacecraft discovered evidence of ice in the soil around its landing site on Mars. Following images were acquired by NASA’s Phoenix Mars Lander’s Surface Stereo Imager on the 21st and 25th days of the mission, or Sols 20 and 24 (June 15 and 19, 2008). These images show sublimation of ice in the trench informally called “Dodo-Goldilocks” over the course of four days. In the lower left corner, lumps disappear, similar to the process of evaporation.

[Fig.01: Tiny clumps of material in the bottom left of the trench on 15 June (left) are gone by 19 June (right)]

ice found on mars - animated image
[Fig.02: Ice on mars, click to enlarge image]

According to Dr Peter Smith, Phoenix’s principal investigator:

These little clumps completely disappearing over the course of a few days, that is perfect evidence that it’s ice. There had been some question whether the bright material was salt, but salt can’t do that.

RIP: Ulysses Spacecraft

Over 17 years ago, the Ulysses spacecraft was launched aboard the space shuttle Discovery for a unique NASA/ESA mission. NASA has decided to formally conclude the mission on July 1, 2008.

nasa ulysses photo

Ulysses is a robotic space probe designed to study the Sun at all latitudes. It was launched October 6, 1990 from the Space Shuttle Discovery (mission STS-41) as a joint venture of NASA and the European Space Agency. The spacecraft is equipped with instruments to characterize fields, particles, and dust, and is powered by a radioisotope thermoelectric generator (RTG). The Ulysses mission is ongoing, still collecting valuable scientific readings to this day. However in February of 2008, what scientists had always known began to materialize. The power output from the RTG, which is generated by heat from the radioactive decay of plutonium-238, has dwindled to the point where it is insufficient to power some critical internal heaters to keep the spacecraft’s attitude control fuel from freezing.

The Ulysses spacecraft has endured for almost four times its expected lifespan. However, the spacecraft will cease operations because of a decline in power produced by its onboard generators. Ulysses has forever changed the way scientists view the sun and its effect on the surrounding space.

UK Releases UFO Files Related to Alien Spacecraft

This is a subject that interests a vast number of people, believers, sceptics and agnostics. My understanding is that this is possibly the largest launch event they have done since the census

Unidentified Flying Object ( UFO ) is any flying object or phenomenon that cannot be identified by the observer. Also commonly known as alien spacecraft.

The files contain a wide range of UFO-related documents covering the years 1978–2002. So if you want to find out more about lights in the sky over Waterloo Bridge, near misses by pilots, crop circles – and what the UK government thought of it all – this is the place to start.

On a related note, NASA announced the discovery of an object in our Galaxy astronomers have been hunting for more than 50 years but no evidence of aliens or an asteroid that will wipe out the Earth found.

How To Explore The Universe ( Space ) From Computer

Microsoft launches a free tool that allows amateur star-gazers to explore the universe / spave from their computers.

Microsoft launches a free tool that allows amateur star-gazers to explore the universe from their computers. The WorldWide Telescope (WWT) is a Web 2.0 visualization software environment that enables your computer to function as a virtual telescope—bringing together imagery from the best ground and space-based telescopes in the world for a seamless exploration of the universe.

This is a virtual telescope for you and me. You can now view galaxies, exotic nebulae and exploding stars from your own computer Want to see the same images that scientists use for their research or perform your own research with those images? Do you want to see the Earth from the same perspective that astronauts see as they descend to Earth? Try this software.

System requirements to run WWT

  • 2GHz or faster processor
  • 2GB of RAM
  • 1-10GB of free disk space
  • Graphics card with 128 MB RAM or 256 VRAM
  • Windows XP Service Pack 2 or Windows Vista
  • Net connection
  • Macs must run Windows OS

=> Download software here
=> More information available here and here

Scientists Will Attempt To Re-Create Temperatures Pressures Of An Exploding Star In Lab

A NUCLEAR fusion laboratory designed to re-create the temperatures and pressures of an exploding star could be built in England under plans being drawn up by British scientists.

A supernovae / supernovas is a stellar explosion. They are extremely luminous and cause a burst of radiation that may briefly outshine an entire galaxy before fading from view over several weeks or months. Now scientists plan supernova blasts in lab to tap energy.

The aim is to build some of the world’s most powerful lasers and use them to blast tiny pellets of hydrogen fuel to create energy.

The process is similar to the supernova explosion that heralds the death of a star.

Researchers say the process could offer a partial solution to the world’s energy crisis, offering a source of carbon-free power with only a minimum of radioactive waste.