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The 10th Planet

 
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edtheredhead



Joined: 02 Apr 2005
Posts: 81
Location: Northwest PA

PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2005 10:50 pm    Post subject: The 10th Planet Reply with quote

This summer, we're taking a "break" from school and simply doing units on space & dinosaurs (dd will be 6 in June).

One of the questions I have is how people are handling the 10th planet in our solar system that was found a few months ago. It's name is Sedna and I haven't heard much since it was originally found. I realize that there's been some conflict over whether it's really a planet or not, etc. But I'm trying to figure out how to handle this with dd.

Has anyone included this planet with your studies of space? If so, how did you do it.

Here's a link to a story about it.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/3511678.stm

Thanks for any help/advice you can offer.
_________________
Ed
Married to Margaret (1996)
1 daughter Belinda (1999)
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bartii



Joined: 31 Mar 2005
Posts: 180
Location: Boise, ID

PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2005 10:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am not sure how to proceed with that either. When the news story came out I showed it to my sons and we talked about it, but when there was some controversery about it I decided not to really go into with them until the ''professionals'' learn more what that cluster of mass is out there.

Maybe if we went to NASA's website we will find out more information.

This may be good for us parents/teacherss to do some work on.
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Frank



Joined: 13 May 2005
Posts: 148
Location: Seattle

PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2007 4:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Coming late to this discussion but...

With Pluto recently demoted and the one you mention just another Kuiper Belt body, we're now down to 8 official planets. I used to use the mnemonic:

Mother Very Thoughtfully/Eagerly Made A Jelly Sandwich Under No Protest. Giving us: Mercury, Venus, Terra/Earth (your choice), Mars, asteroid belt, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto.

But nowadays we have the Kuiper Belt, of which Pluto is the (so far) largest body, like Ceres is the largest asteroid belt body, and beyond that, the Oort Cloud. So I need an updated mnemonic.

Howzabout: Mother Very Thoughtfully/Eagerly Made A Jelly Sandwich Using Natural Kumquat Organics.

It's very 21st century granola, dontcha think?

I dunno what to do about a pure planets-only mnemonic for the 8 defined planets. The thing I liked about my original one was that it did include the asteroid belt and that mass is important to the celestial mechanics of the solar system, as is the mass of the Kuiper Belt and even that of the Oort Cloud; so I think they should be included in a recitation of the body mass of the system along with the defined planets

But that's just me,

Frank
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Frank



Joined: 13 May 2005
Posts: 148
Location: Seattle

PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2007 3:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Brief self-followup...

I said that Pluto was the biggest dwarf TNO (trans-Neptunian object). That honor actually belongs to Eris which is about 25% bigger and has a moon, Dysnomia. So officially as of now, we have 8 planets and 3 dwarfs, Ceres, Pluto, and Eris, with a couple of other potential candidates for dwarf status.

My comment about the importance of their mass still stands, however. At the time of Copernicus they knew of the planets out to Saturn but orbital perturbations of the known planets led Copernicus to write in _De Revolutionibus..._: "Inter Martem et Jovem planetam interposui." Loosely translated, this says: "There must be a planet between Mars and Jupiter!" As it turned out, of course, there isn't a solo planet there; there is instead the asteroid belt which has sufficient mass to affect planetary motions.

This is the same reason/process by which we discovered Pluto. Scientists knew there was mass out there and went looking for it. In 1930 they found Pluto. Actually, even before Pluto, they discovered Neptune in the mid-1800s the same way.

Science is cool.

Frank
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