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Old February 12 2013, 04:04 PM   #38
Christopher
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Re: Help name the moons of Pluto

iguana_tonante wrote: View Post
The very reason for having a definition of "planet" is political: what to put on science books for primary schools. Scientists don't need a definition or a list: students do.
Well, that's not entirely true. The idea behind the 2006 IAU conference was to finally come up with a real scientific definition for the term "planet," one that would be based on meaningful physical parameters rather than historical convention and that would be useful as a classification for scientists. I don't think they succeeded very well at meeting those goals, because the decision-making process was rushed and ultimately the result of compromise rather than scientific consensus, but it's incorrect to say that they weren't even trying to come up with a scientific definition, because that was the entire purpose of the exercise.
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