A team of six scientists from institutions across the United States have suggested a new planetary classification system, which would restore to Pluto its status as the ninth planet.The team presented a paper at an worldwide planetary science conference at The Woodlands, Texas, on March 21, which would base the definition of "planet" on geological properties such as shape and surface features.Using the proposed new system, some 110 orbiting objects, including Earth's moon, would be reclassified as planets.
The solar system has more than 100 planets based on a new classification system that's waiting approval.
According to Runyon and his team members a planet can be defined as "a sub stellar mass body that has never undergone any kind of nuclear fusion" which have enough gravitational mass in order to maintain roughly a round shape. Even more, he says that a host of moons (including Europa and the Moon) and other bodies (like these guys here) in the Solar System should be planets, too. This small size eventually led the IAU to demote Pluto in 2006, but Runyon says it shouldn't have been the case - Pluto "has everything going on on its surface that you associate with a planet".
Pluto and its newfound kin in the solar system's distant Kuiper Belt region were reclassified as dwarf planets, along with Ceres, the biggest object in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.
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According to the IAU, the reason for the demotion is that the celestial body did not meet all three criteria the astronomical group uses for Pluto to be accepted and recognized as a full-sized planet. The team also explains how the atmosphere may affect the color of the dwarf planet's surface features.
That expansion is part of the appeal of the new definition, Runyon says.
Every discovered planet in the Solar System under 10,000 km in diameter, to scale. Keeping these requirements in mind, Pluto was demoted to a dwarf planet because to be considered a planet, the icy world and its natural satellite would have to move alone through their orbit.
At present, the IAU's definition of what makes a planet a planet states that a body must orbit the Sun, it must be massive enough for its own gravity and it requires that the body has "cleared the neighborhood" around its orbit, meaning it has become gravitationally dominant. Most are closely affiliated with geology and other geosciences, thus making the new geophysical definition more useful than the IAU's astronomical definition.
Additional authors of the paper are from the Southwest Research Institute, the National Optical Astronomy Observatory, the Lowell Observatory, and George Mason University.