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Monday, September 24, 2018

Ignore the IAU! Dwarf planets are planets, too!

This needs to be shared with the media, textbook publishers, educators, and science writers as much as possible!

Thursday, September 20, 2018

More Comprehensive Interview with Phil Metzger on "Are We There Yet? The Space Exploration Podcast"

This is a more comprehensive interview with Phil Metzger on the show "Are We There Yet? The Space Exploration Podcast," broadcast on September 14, 2018.

Phil Metzger interview on Pluto's planet status

Please note there are two errors in the article below the interview video. The writer states that Eris was discovered by Mike Brown, when it was actually discovered by a group of three planetary astronomers--Brown, Chad Trujillo, and David Rabinowitz. Interestingly, both Trujillo and Rabinowitz reject the IAU planet definition.

Additionally, the writer reports that Eris is larger than Pluto. This is not the case. Eris was initially thought to be larger than Pluto but in 2010, a team of scientists led by Bruno Sicardy measured Eris's size when it occulted a star and found it to be marginally smaller than Pluto though 27 percent more massive. Being more massive, it is likely more rocky and therefore more planet-like.

Friday, September 7, 2018

New article in journal Icarus supports Pluto being classed as a planet

An article published by the University of Central Florida (UCF) reports on a new study published in the journal Icarus supporting Pluto's planet status and arguing that the reason behind the controversial IAU "reclassification" in 2006 is "not valid."

The lead author of the Icarus article is Dr. Philip Metzger of the University of Central Florida Florida Space Institute (FSI), a supporter of the geophysical planet definition. Other authors include Dr. Alan Stern of the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) in Boulder, Colorado; Dr. Kirby Runyon, of the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (JHUAPL) in Laurel, Maryland; and Dr. Mark Sykes of the Planetary Science Institute (PSI) in Tucson, Arizona.

Unlike most of the four percent of the IAU who voted on this in 2006, these authors all are planetary scientists. Below is the UCF article on their study.