Trouble at t'IAU

My spy at the IAU (OK Lisa isn't a spy but that sounds much more exciting) has been sitting in on the discussion about the definition of a planet and tells me that there has been a bit of a heated debate.

It turns out that the orbital mechanics people are a bit annoyed that their field is being ignored whilst hydrostatic equilibrium (spherical bodies) has been given a big role in the proposal. Also, the term "pluton" looks likely to be dropped because it overloads the geological use of the term. Instead there are suggestions of "plutino", "plutroid" and "Tombaugh object" amongst others.

The results of the arguments are that the proposal is now in three parts, although what those three parts are I don't know. All this disagreement doesn't make things look good for the vote on Thursday, as a majority is needed to pass the proposal.

I will point out that there are plenty of interesting astronomical issues being discussed during the week other than this.

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Posted in astro blog by Stuart on Tuesday 22nd Aug 2006 (14:24 BST) | Permalink
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