There may be hundreds of 'planets' in the solar system if this happens

To many people's disdain, Pluto was demoted to a dwarf planet in 2006, but that may not always be the case if a new study is heard.

1 minute & 52 seconds read time

Researchers have penned a study that surveyed centuries of planet literature and found that the decision to demote Pluto should be reversed.

There may be hundreds of 'planets' in the solar system if this happens 01

Researchers from the Florida Space Institute at the University of Central Florida (UCF) published the study in the astronomy journal Icarus, and it details an examination of hundreds of years of planet literature that revealed a timeline of events that led up to the demotion of Pluto. According to the researchers under definitions created by Galileo, widely considered the "father" of observational astronomy, Pluto would have been defined as a planet between 1600 and 1900 as it had geological activity.

The researchers write that the definition began to change when there was a decline in planetary science papers and an increase in the printing of almanacs. Futurism reports that the Galilean definitions changed due to astrology requiring a set number of planets in the solar system in order to make predictions, as well as "astrologically-derived weather forecasts of almanacs". Under the Galilean definitions, many moons and asteroids could be considered planets, as they would be geologically active.

"We found that there were enough almanacs being sold in England and in the United States that every household could get one copy every year. This was a key period in history, when the public accepted that the Earth orbits the Sun instead of the other way around, and they combined this great scientific insight with a definition of planets that came from astrology," said UCF planetary scientist, and lead author on the study, Philip Metzger.

"Planets were no longer defined by virtue of being complex, with active geology and the potential for life and civilization. Instead, they were defined by virtue of being simple, following certain idealized paths around the Sun," said Metzger.

In 2006 Pluto was demoted from being a planet to a dwarf planet, and the key factor that removed it was additionally added criteria that stated "a planet must clear its own orbit", something that was never used in the past and what the researchers behind the study believe should be revoked.

If the International Astronomical Union (IAU) were to take the researchers' study into consideration and define Pluto as a planet, the Solar System would officially have many more planets than eight, which doesn't include asteroids that could possibly meet the criteria as well.

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Jak joined the TweakTown team in 2017 and has since reviewed 100s of new tech products and kept us informed daily on the latest science, space, and artificial intelligence news. Jak's love for science, space, and technology, and, more specifically, PC gaming, began at 10 years old. It was the day his dad showed him how to play Age of Empires on an old Compaq PC. Ever since that day, Jak fell in love with games and the progression of the technology industry in all its forms. Instead of typical FPS, Jak holds a very special spot in his heart for RTS games.

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