The solar system has more than 100 planets based on a new classification system that’s waiting approval.
The current planet count is eight, but now that a group of scientists are calling for the definition of what classifies as a planet to undergo some reform, that would take the planet’s count from eight to about 110, according to The Space Reporter.
Scientists have issued a proposal that would classify a planet as “a sub-stellar mass body that has never undergone nuclear fusion.”
This comes more than a decade after the International Astronomical Union changed the definition of a planet, according to Tech Times.
In 2006, the IAU officially defined a planet as “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 neighborhood around its orbit.”
That definition change meant Pluto was no longer considered the “ninth” planet, but instead a dwarf planet and Kuiper Belt Object.
However, if the new classification system is approved, then Pluto would be considered a planet again, according to The Space Reporter.
According to Tech Times, Pluto was originally discovered in 1930, and was classified as the solar system’s ninth planet, which was the case up until 2006 when the criteria for a planet changed — categorizing it as a KBO.
At the time, though, there were still many parts of the Kuiper Belt that hadn’t been discovered yet.
Now, scientists believe that “big” objects found in the Kuiper Belt as well as around the current planets should also be classified as planets, which would mean a drastic change for our solar system, which has remained relatively the same for most of its history.
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