Author Topic: Pluto conspiracy  (Read 15322 times)

Offline Abaddon

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Re: Pluto conspiracy
« Reply #15 on: July 21, 2015, 08:15:13 AM »
It's an arbitrary categorisation. I'm pretty sure as the discovery of exoplanets accelerates, categories of planets will proliferate even more.

Offline Andromeda

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Re: Pluto conspiracy
« Reply #16 on: July 21, 2015, 09:29:39 AM »
I agreed with the IAU decision entirely.

I wonder if there was this kind of outcry when Ceres was "demoted" in the 1860s.

I think the nomenclature is problematic, though, as a dwarf planet is explicitly defined as not being a type of planet.  I also think "cleared its orbit" would be better stated as "gravitationally dominant in its orbit".
"The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' but 'That's funny...'" - Isaac Asimov.

Offline Luke Pemberton

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Re: Pluto conspiracy
« Reply #17 on: July 21, 2015, 10:48:59 AM »
Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former - Albert Einstein.

I can calculate the motion of heavenly bodies, but not the madness of people – Sir Isaac Newton.

A polar orbit would also bypass the SAA - Tim Finch

Offline darren r

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Re: Pluto conspiracy
« Reply #18 on: July 21, 2015, 11:07:27 AM »

I saw this linked a couple of times as proof that "NASA artists are slipping". 

https://www.yahoo.com/makers/newly-captured-images-of-pluto-are-shockingly-124189039895.html


How long before this artist's impression is used to 'prove' that there should be stars in the photos?
" I went to the God D**n Moon!" Byng Gordon, 8th man on the Moon.

Offline striv

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Re: Pluto conspiracy
« Reply #19 on: July 21, 2015, 10:28:51 PM »

I saw this linked a couple of times as proof that "NASA artists are slipping". 

https://www.yahoo.com/makers/newly-captured-images-of-pluto-are-shockingly-124189039895.html


How long before this artist's impression is used to 'prove' that there should be stars in the photos?

Not long at all. ;)  Collection of all of the wall Pluto conspiracies. Half way down is obligatory "where are the stars."  Click at your own risk...

http://www.inquisitr.com/2269612/planet-x-or-nibiru-pluto-and-the-new-horizons-mission-the-masonic-ritual-connection-according-to-conspiracy-theorists/


Offline ka9q

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Re: Pluto conspiracy
« Reply #20 on: July 22, 2015, 04:24:44 AM »
But there is a loophole: we're too far north for Pluto to ever pass overhead.
Yeah. Unfortunately it's not even in the Northern Hemisphere right now; its declination is about -20 degrees.

What's really sad about that is that it's outside the swath of sky that can be seen by the Arecibo radio telescope. It's in Puerto Rico, and it can only see within 20 degrees of the local vertical.

Offline ka9q

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Re: Pluto conspiracy
« Reply #21 on: July 22, 2015, 04:31:24 AM »
Alan Stern disagrees with Tyson.  So do I.  As Pluto would say, Tyson is no Carl Sagan.
Actually, I've been saying for some time that not only is Tyson the first to fill Carl Sagan's shoes, he's arguably doing an even better job. Tyson seems totally at ease in front of an audience; Sagan never did.
Quote
The IAU decision was a farce with risible justification.  A "dwarf" planet is still a planet. Just as a "giant" planet is still a planet.
There are 8 planets in our solar system, and that's a very reliable number. If we merge dwarf planets into the planet category, then the number will be "large and unknown". Either way, never again will the count be the "9" we were taught in school.

Scientific understanding changes, and people have to adapt to that.



Offline smartcooky

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Re: Pluto conspiracy
« Reply #22 on: July 22, 2015, 06:41:17 AM »
Actually, I've been saying for some time that not only is Tyson the first to fill Carl Sagan's shoes, he's arguably doing an even better job. Tyson seems totally at ease in front of an audience; Sagan never did.

100%. NDT did a great job of the COSMOS reboot, and I understand he was Ann Druyan's first choice.

The only thing I disliked about the new COSMOS was the cheap, poorly animated cartoons. One of the key appeals and strengths of the original COSMOS was the mini-documentaries that told the stories of individuals and their contributions to science, e.g. Johannes Kepler and Jean-François Champollion

There are 8 planets in our solar system, and that's a very reliable number. If we merge dwarf planets into the planet category, then the number will be "large and unknown". Either way, never again will the count be the "9" we were taught in school.

Scientific understanding changes, and people have to adapt to that.

Agree with this too. I used to be in the "Pluto is a planet" camp, but three things have convinced me that the IAU have got this right...

1. Pluto's orbit is highly eccentric (so much so that it crosses the orbit of  another planet. No other planet does this.). It is also highly inclined to the orbits of the 8 planets

2. This diagram

Orbitally, Pluto has more in common with the Kuiper Belt object Eris than it has with any of the planets


3. This comparison

Pluto is not much bigger that the Kuiper Belt object Eris, and is actually less massive!! If Pluto is a planet, then Eris is also a planet, and any other Kuiper belt object the size of Eris or bigger (and there could be thousands of them) would also have to be classed as planets.
« Last Edit: July 22, 2015, 06:48:27 AM by smartcooky »
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Offline Luke Pemberton

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Re: Pluto conspiracy
« Reply #23 on: July 22, 2015, 06:57:51 AM »
Thanks for your post smartcooky.

One of the innate problems for astronomers has been the development of technology to see further and further, and of course over time more objects get discovered. It is no different to Galileo and the discovery of Jupiter's moons. This helped redefine science as we know it today, and the move towards the heliocentric model.

Once we began observing objects beyond Pluto, it was clearly apparent that they really feel under a different definition to the 8 planets owing to their orbital parameters and sizes/masses.

In golfing parlance, once these objects were defined as dwarf planets, Pluto didn't make the cut. Fundamentally, they still have the word planet in their title, but they are different to the 8 inner planets in many ways, so warrant a different definition. The IAU took the correct course and gave them a different category.
Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former - Albert Einstein.

I can calculate the motion of heavenly bodies, but not the madness of people – Sir Isaac Newton.

A polar orbit would also bypass the SAA - Tim Finch

Offline ka9q

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Re: Pluto conspiracy
« Reply #24 on: July 22, 2015, 08:01:24 AM »
I don't see how astronomers have an innate problem with technology. People who don't understand science have the innate problem.

There's actually one way that Pluto's classification matters, but once again it's totally artificial:

http://www.wired.com/2013/08/pluto-cartography/

I had a totally innocent question about which of Pluto's poles were we seeing in sunlight, and the more I dug into it the harder it was to believe how screwed up the whole topic had become.

As far as I'm concerned, the definition of any object's north pole should be the direction of its positive angular momentum vector, regardless of where it happens to point. Perhaps we should just not talk about Pluto's north and south poles but rather its +L and -L poles.

Offline Luke Pemberton

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Re: Pluto conspiracy
« Reply #25 on: July 22, 2015, 08:20:41 AM »
I don't see how astronomers have an innate problem with technology. People who don't understand science have the innate problem.

That's not what I meant, although it read like it  :)

What I was trying to say is that astronomers are trying to build a picture of our Universe, and new techology reveals new objects. So, they begin with one classification, and then new objects are discovered whereby they make another classifcation, only to find the objects previously classified fit better into the new classifaction (if that makes sense). So the new technology imposes problems for the astronomers as they refine their models and classifications. Hell. we've all been at those management meetings when we spend hours going over some definition because something has changed that upsets a previous aspect of the project.

A good parallel comes from particle physics, where we used to have the eightfold way, but that has now been replaced by the standard model. The classifcation of the elements has undergone a similar process.
« Last Edit: July 22, 2015, 08:43:03 AM by Luke Pemberton »
Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former - Albert Einstein.

I can calculate the motion of heavenly bodies, but not the madness of people – Sir Isaac Newton.

A polar orbit would also bypass the SAA - Tim Finch

Offline smartcooky

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Re: Pluto conspiracy
« Reply #26 on: July 22, 2015, 08:34:31 AM »
I don't see how astronomers have an innate problem with technology. People who don't understand science have the innate problem.

That's not what I meant, although it read like it  :)

What I was trying to say is that astronomers are trying to build a picture of our Universe, and new techology reveals new objects. So, they begin with one classification, and then new objects are discovered whereby they make another classifcation, only to find the objects previously classified fit better into the new classifaction (if that makes sense). So the new technology imposes problems for the astronomers as they refine their models and classifications. Hell. we've all been at those management meetings when we spend hours going over some definition because something has changed that upsets a previous aspect of the project.

A good parallel comes from particle physics, where we used to have the eightfold way, but that has now been replaced the standard model. The classifcation of the elements has undergone a similar process.


Another good parallel comes from "The Great Debate".

At one time, all the visible nebulae were thought to be within the Milky Way galaxy. However, developments in technology allowed Hubble set the record straight, and showed that a good many of these nebulae were other galaxies.


► What you can assert without evidence, I can dismiss without evidence
► When you argue with idiots you risk being dragged down to their level and beaten with experience.
► Conspiracism is a shortcut to the illusion of erudition

Offline ka9q

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Re: Pluto conspiracy
« Reply #27 on: July 22, 2015, 09:13:53 AM »
What I was trying to say is that astronomers are trying to build a picture of our Universe, and new techology reveals new objects. So, they begin with one classification, and then new objects are discovered whereby they make another classifcation, only to find the objects previously classified fit better into the new classifaction (if that makes sense).
That's hardly unique to astronomy; it's common to every field of science. That's how it makes progress.

Offline Luke Pemberton

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Re: Pluto conspiracy
« Reply #28 on: July 22, 2015, 09:20:32 AM »
That's hardly unique to astronomy; it's common to every field of science. That's how it makes progress.

Indeed, and coming back to the orginal point about Pluto's status, it's why individuals like Jarrah White fly in the face of science by claiming that 'dwarf planet' is a contradiction in terms, as they don't understand how science works in the first place.
Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former - Albert Einstein.

I can calculate the motion of heavenly bodies, but not the madness of people – Sir Isaac Newton.

A polar orbit would also bypass the SAA - Tim Finch

Offline Andromeda

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Re: Pluto conspiracy
« Reply #29 on: July 22, 2015, 12:44:04 PM »
It reminds me of the huge and passionate debate about how to classify the platypus upon its discovery.
"The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' but 'That's funny...'" - Isaac Asimov.