Astronomers are redefining the definition of planet calling it a
"pluton". If this redefinition takes place our solar system will
have 12 planets instead of nine.
These include the
eight classic planets :
And the three plutons :
Ceres is the largest object in the asteroid belt between Mars
and Jupiter and is spherical in shape like a planet.
(Ceres representation by
Charon is currently
considered a moon of Pluto but because of its size it is
considered to be a twin planet.
If this redefinition
takes place in future many more planets could join the sun's
family as other plutons are discovered, there are already a
dozen candidate planets are already on the waitlist.
waitlist are :
These are all Pluto-like objects residing within a region on the
fringe of the solar system in the Kuiper Belt.
Plutons differ from
classical planets in that :
They have orbits
round the sun that take longer than 200 years to complete.
Their orbits are
highly tilted and non circular.
that their origin is different from that of classical
According to the new definition two conditions must be met for
an object to be called a planet :
First the object
must be in orbit around a star, while not itself being a
Second the most
important it must be massive enough for its ow gravity to
pull it into a nearly spherical shape.