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Old February 12 2013, 03:34 PM   #35
Christopher
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Re: Help name the moons of Pluto

The Mirrorball Man wrote: View Post
Just the latin names then?
iguana_tonante wrote: View Post
I don't see why not. Just like the other planets.
Not really. See the article I linked above. "Terra" is just the Latin word for earth, as in "terra firma;" it's not the name of a deity like the other planet names. As I said, Tellus would be the correct name if you wanted Earth to be named per the same Roman-deity convention as the other planets.


RJDiogenes wrote: View Post
Christopher wrote: View Post
^Hey, if you want to put Pluto back in, you also have to count Ceres, Eris, Haumea, Makemake, and possibly hundreds more to be confirmed in the decades ahead.
That's fine, as long as the definition is consistent. The reason the current definition of planet is so stupid is that it was chosen not for scientific reasons, but for a political one-- to limit the number of planets in the solar system. But what difference does it make how many there are?
I think the best solution is to keep the dwarf planet category, because it's useful, but to eliminate the paradoxical notion that a dwarf planet is not a planet. A dwarf star is still a star, a dwarf galaxy is still a galaxy, and so on, so that just doesn't make sense. And we have other subdivisions of "planet" as a category, such as giant planets and terrestrial planets. We just need to treat "planet" as a class that has numerous subdivisions.
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