What is a Planet?

By Dave

A new definition of a Planet has been created and will be expanding our Solar System to atleast 12 planets once we all get used to it.

The new definition reads:

A planet is a celestial body that (a) has sufficient mass for its self-gravity to overcome rigid body forces so that it assumes a hydrostatic equilibrium (nearly round) shape, and (b) is in orbit around a star, and is neither a star nor a satellite of a planet.

Scientific American talks about the new planets and hints that there could and probably will be others:

By these criteria, the sun has 12 planets: the nine conventional ones plus Charon, Xena, and the largest asteroid, Ceres (which has been there before — it was regarded as a planet for a half-century after its discovery). More may soon join them. Astronomers could find that other asteroids such as Vesta have a round shape, and new discoveries of Xena-like bodies are almost guaranteed.

What do you think? Could you remember the 12 planets of the Solar System any time soon?

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