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Space Science

Is Pluto a Binary Planet? 275

Posted by samzenpus
from the twice-as-fun dept.
astroengine writes "If the Pluto-Charon system were viewed in a similar way to binary stars and binary asteroids, Pluto would become a Pluto-Charon binary planet. After all, Charon is 12% the mass of Pluto, causing the duo to orbit a barycenter that is located above Pluto's surface. Sadly, in the IAU's haste to define what a planet is in 2006, they missed a golden opportunity to define the planetary binary. Interestingly, if Pluto was a binary planet, last week's discovery of a fifth Plutonian moon would have in fact been the binary's fourth moon to be discovered by Hubble — under the binary definition, Charon wouldn't be classified as a moon at all."
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Is Pluto a Binary Planet?

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  • by spire3661 (1038968) on Sunday July 15, 2012 @06:26PM (#40658645) Journal
    Ugh. The entire idea of the 'death star' shows how little imagination Lucas has. Even moving the death star into a system would effect the planetary orbits. Why would you need a big laser gun when you can simply wobble a planet out of its habitable orbit using the gravity of your space station.
  • by idji (984038) on Sunday July 15, 2012 @06:51PM (#40658781)
    because you want results in seconds, not aeons.
  • by Doubting Sapien (2448658) on Sunday July 15, 2012 @07:34PM (#40658983)
    I'm a Christian Scientist, you insensitive clod!
  • by lennier (44736) on Sunday July 15, 2012 @07:52PM (#40659097) Homepage

    But then, I'd expect nothing less from a committee of pseudo-scientists

    You, sir, have very low expectations for the noble profession of pseudo-science. I both demand and expect a whole lot more from my committees of space pseudo-scientists:

    1. At least three separate and conflicting theories about the catastrophic formation of the solar system as a result of an interplanetary war between four and eight thousand years ago.
    2. A dozen formulations of the Lorentz Contraction as a result of the pre-Einsteinian ether
    3. A gigantic laser mounted on Mimas [wikipedia.org]
    4. A baroque dying Martian civilisation clustered in glorious decadent splendour among the Red Weed entwined canals and pentagonal pyramids of Cydonia.
    5. Ancient space Egyptians and Mayans with lasercats.
    6. Space Mormons versus robots.
    7. A literary analysis of Shakespeare's Hamlet as really being about the precession of the equinoxes.
    8. An apocalyptic prediction involving Halley's Comet.
    9. An Electric Universe theory, preferably one that makes Saturn a former star.
    10. A homebuilt antigravity demonstration device harnessing the awesome power of magnets.

  • by KlomDark (6370) on Monday July 16, 2012 @12:32AM (#40660377) Homepage Journal

    Yes, we should not have just planets, but both planets and planetets, that will make it simpler. Then, if we later find smaller planetoids, we can call them planetetets.

    See, I am a great genius, I have made things simpler.

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