Mike Brown, the astronomer who propelled Planet Nine, was the man who helped bring down Pluto’s order

This is one of the most exciting things in the whole field of astronomy: the discovery of new planets.

But the drive to recognize certain objects — orbits that appear to be several times the size of Earth and appear to orbit the length of the outer solar system — as large planets is complicated by a single Earth history.

The world defends the A label new Planet Nine, Caltech astronomer Mike Brown, is the same planet that got Your The ninth planet, Pluto, has been omitted from lists kept by teachers and students.

Many Brown astronomers were not happy.

To be clear, most of the scientists who spoke to The Daily Beast said they love Brown, respect his work and support his efforts to add at least one new planet to the existing list. They just don’t agree with what Pluto did in 2006. Strongly.

“He was wrong about Pluto,” planetary scientist Alan Stern, principal investigator for NASA’s New Horizons mission, which sent the probe through Pluto in 2015, told The Daily Beast.

Alan Stern, principal investigator for NASA’s New Horizons mission, which sent an probe beyond Pluto in 2015, said Brown was “completely wrong” about the downgraded planet.

NASA/Joel Kosky/Getty Images

Fifteen years ago, most scientists opposed removing Pluto from the list, and then ignored it. They are now questioning many assumptions surrounding Brown’s campaign for the new ninth member of the Planet Earth Club.

After all, to them, there was nothing wrong with Ancient Ninth Planet. Brown’s potential new planet should be at least number 10 – if not number 50 or 500. Most importantly, they warn, arbitrary bureaucratic interference with scientific definitions risks causing significant harm.

Pluto’s split “actually created a gap between scientists and the public, and sent a chilling message — especially in this period — that science is done by order of authority,” Mark Sykes, director of the Planetary Science Institute in Arizona, told the Daily Beast.

The current controversy has its roots in the discovery 91 years ago, when astronomers at Lowell Observatory in Arizona mistakenly caught a glimpse of the object they eventually named Pluto. It is very far away (3 billion miles or more), very small (less than one-fifth the diameter of Earth) and shrouded in darkness.

It was considered, undeniably at that time, a planet. After all, it was quite round and smooth, meaning it had enough gravity to shape itself, very slowly over billions of years. It clearly has a complex geology. It fits the definition of “planet” created by the Italian mathematician Galileo Galilei nearly 500 years ago and which almost all astronomers agreed on in 1930—and still agrees today.

With the discovery of Pluto, the solar system officially had nine planets: the fairly small inner planets Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars, and on the other side of the asteroid belt, the largest outer planets Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune.

Late and far away, Pluto lurks in the darkness of the Kuiper Belt, a ring of comets, asteroids, and ice so vast and so far from the Sun that it remains largely a mystery.

Pluto is imaged in a composite of four images taken from the New Horizons Long Range Reconnaissance Imager in July 2015.

Reuters

The lineup remained the same for the next 76 years. Then, in 2005, Brown and his team discovered another object in the Kuiper belt, much larger than Pluto. This object, which became known as “Eris”, was originally described by NASA as the tenth planet of the solar system.

“Once we found Eris, and we realized Eris was bigger than Pluto, you had to do something,” Brown told the BBC in July. He rightly questioned the existence of more planet-like objects in the Kuiper Belt, and called on the Paris-based International Astronomical Union, a leading association of astronomers and other planetary scientists, to reconsider the definition of “planet” to prevent the accepted list from growing by the dozens or more—Chocolate expanded on Time described “ridiculous.”

In August 2006, a small group within the International Astronomical Union shocked the entire IAU and the world at large when they voted at the end of a weeklong conference in Prague on a hastily drafted declaration rejecting Pluto’s status as a complete planet. .

Howl’s Rating and Scientific Profile. A new definition of ‘planet’ adopted by the International Astronomical Union, all to remove Pluto from the list and keep Eris, ask for a round object to rotate around our sun and even more He uses his gravity to clear the space around him of asteroids and other small objects.

That is, in the minds of many astronomers, the definition of strange. First, it excluded Earth during the initial chaotic eons. It is also the furthest of the thousands of confirmed “exoplanets” orbiting a star other than our own. (Catherine Cesarsky, who became president of the IAU days after Pluto was wiped out and spent years defending the decision, did not respond to a request for comment.)

Stern said the IAU wanted to keep the official list of planets in our solar system short so teachers would have no trouble teaching the list, and it would be easier for students to memorize — a motivation he sees as “very unpleasant.”

“Do we have eight states in the US, so schoolchildren don’t have to memorize all 50 states?” requested. “Should we limit the number of species?”

As a result of the quick vote, Pluto became a planet, not a planet, as Eris did. And the grumbling within the wider scientific community continues to this day.

“I think the downgrading of Pluto by the International Astronomical Union is questionable,” Steve Maran, a former NASA astrophysicist, told The Daily Beast.

But Brown agreed to move. “Pluto would not be called a planet if it were discovered today,” he said in 2010 while promoting his book. How did you kill Pluto and why did it happen.

The new definition of “planet” gave Brown the freedom to evaluate distant objects like Eris without having to argue about their planet.

“I think Pluto as an example of a large object in the Kuiper belt is more interesting than Pluto as a very strange planet on the outer edge of the solar system, unlike the others,” Brown told Space.com in 2010.

Brown recently told The Daily Beast that he hasn’t changed his mind about Pluto. He insisted the anger had subsided. “Some loud voices continue to state that Pluto should remain a planet, but most others have moved forward,” he said.

Brown must have moved somewhere else Something It orbits along the Kuiper belt which is believed to be more deserving of planetary status than Pluto.

Working alongside fellow Caltech astronomer Konstantin Batygin, Brown has been tracking asteroids and other inhabitants from the dark outer edge of our solar system. He and Batygin noticed that some of them seemed to be converging around a certain spot in space 100 billion miles from Earth.

No planets are visible – perhaps too far away and too dark – but groupings of smaller and brighter objects can indicate the gravity of the invisible planet. “There is compelling evidence for that,” Batygin told The Daily Beast. “But the search won’t end until we have the picture in hand.”

Caltech astronomer Mike Brown explained to the media about the possibility of Planet Nine.

AFP via Getty

If Brown and Batygin finally get a closer look at everything that might be out there — perhaps using the soon-to-be-launched James Webb Space Telescope — it’s likely they’ll be able to debate the International Astronomical Union and other astronomers. authority to admit new refusal 9. Brown and Batygin Summary of initial survey Has been accepted for publication in astronomical magazine.

Brown said he believed the discovery would make the planet undisputed. “It will be six times larger than Earth and the fifth largest planet in our solar system,” he explained.

Many scientists agree with Brown that his discovery could be a planet, even under the IAU’s strict new definition. They have a lot of complaints Something in the Kuiper Belt also needs a name – like Pluto.

Astronomers haven’t actually accepted the IAU’s 2006 redefinition of “planets.” Philip Metzger, a University of Central Florida physicist who surveyed the scientific literature in the years after Pluto was removed from the list, found that almost all scientists chose to ignore the IAU statement.

But the changes are already registered in the general public. Textbook and school writers in particular took cues from the IAU and dropped Pluto from their texts and lessons on the formation of the solar system.

While Brown seems hopeful that removing Pluto from the list will free him to explore the complexities of the solar system, ironically it has a simplification effect. Public space concept. This narrow focus comes at a time of new discoveries, piling up every month and year, strangers appear and the universe is busy.

“Because of the International Astronomical Union, the public is isolated from the excitement of the chaos outside!” Sykes said. “Bad solar system with planets!”

Brown’s drive to create a new ninth planet underscores this fact. The simplistic perception of space driving Pluto’s downgrade is a bit of a strained fantasy—and, to many scientists, seems far-fetched by the day.

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