Possible new planets discovered in our solar system?

From what I have been hearing, there may be one or two new planets in our solar system.
Heres a video from SciShow Space on it.

What do you guys think? Lets talk about it.



I mean… Wait till later.

It’d be cool if they’re planets, but as the video says it’s way too early to have an opinion.

This is precisely the reason the definition of a planet had to be changed and why we said good bye to Pluto. I welcome our new smaller dwarf planets.

Disclaimer: Didn’t watch the video at all.

Like that time the definition of the word “animal” had to be changed because of how many new macrofauna we were going to discover, am I right?

Hmmm…‘dwarf’ planet may not be politically correct. How about circumference challenged planet. :smiley:


As funny as it is… you are still making too much sense.
The definition of “dwarf planet” isn’t even about their size, but about how crowded is their orbit. Which means that if you put Jupiter(*) in the orbit of Saturn, then Saturn may very well be classified as a dwarf planet, while Neptune or even Mercury would still be a, uh, “non-dwarf” planet.
So according to the IAU, you are a dwarf if you are in a room with other people with more combined body mass than you. As long as you are alone, though, you aren’t not a dwarf (if you are fat enough to have a spherical shape, that is, or you aren’t people but peoploïd).

But then again, I criticize, but I didn’t come up with a better term anyway…

(*) Theoretical example, please don’t try it - however amusing it would be to see how the IAU would amend their definitions.

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Being Pluto crosses Neptune’s orbit, doesn’t that make Neptune not a planet as it’s orbit isn’t cleaned out?

I still see it as a “because I said so” more then a real definition.

No, because Pluto’s mass is much lower than Neptune’s mass. Neptune is considered having cleared its orbit, because the total combined mass of everything on its orbit beside itself is (way) lower than its own mass.

Not saying it doesn’t feel a bit arbitrary, though.


The IAU’s definition does not attach specific numbers or equations to this term, but all the planets have cleared their neighbourhoods to a much greater extent than any dwarf planet, or any candidate for dwarf planet. (other then because I said so :stuck_out_tongue: )

Following links I liked the use of satellites instead of nooms. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural_satellite

I hope we can make contact with some super advanced alien civilization one day and manage to convince them to move Pluto and Charon into a stable orbit around Neptune to fix this whole mess…


But so much of that is an accident of history. If Jupiter had migrated closer to the Sun at its closest approach, Earth could have ended up in the Kuiper Belt along side Pluto, and it wouldn’t have made the Planet List either. We have a definition of “planet” that is dependent on outside or environmental factors, which seems completely wrong to me.

It’s like we’ve returned to classifying whales as fish.

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But by that logic wouldn’t we be classifying a whole bunch of moons as planets too?

And? What’s wrong with multiple classification schemes?

Might get a bit confusing? More than it already is, I mean. :slight_smile:

I think it makes things less confusing, so long as one is willing to abandon the notion of a hierarchy of importance. There’s already a growing confusion about planets and moons, that will only get worse as we start looking for habitable moons around Goldilocks gas giants, as people have a notion that only planets house life.

Keep in mind that the majority of people don’t know the difference between a galaxy and a solar system.

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That’s like asking people to abandon the notion of hunger. Truly objective analysis won’t happen until we’ve created machines that will analyze information and discover the patterns there. Those patterns will become the words of the machines, and they will build on them. So long as those machines aren’t optimized to reuse existing patterns at all costs, they should avoid the quagmire that we’re in with regard to words and the wars over their meanings when they become outdated.

Interestingly, with deep learning, machines are taking their first real steps in that direction.

No, it’s like asking people to recognize that moons and planets chunks of dirt.

Which is like asking people to abandon the notion of hunger. The concept of a moon or planet is fundamental to the way that pretty much everyone on the planet thinks.

Note that I agree with you, but that doesn’t mean that the world will salute when this particular flag goes up. Until somebody proposes a really convenient taxonomy or classification system for celestial bodies that solves some problems, people are going to continue to think in terms of all the idiotic classifications that we have accumulated over the past few hundred years.

It’s just not enough to declare the existing system stupid. A replacement is required.

Part of the problem is that words constitute classification, yet physics demands that we think in terms of spectra. We have classes of stars, yet all stars are just collections of matter formed under the same processes that led to the formation of Jupiter, Ceres and Pluto. It would be interesting if there were no words for the bodies in their current state, but instead that they were all identified by icons that contain piles of information about where they are on the evolution of celestial bodies. Because as soon as words are created, they will influence the way people think about them for generations. Of course, even the icon approach would have that effect to some degree. Our perceptions guide our thinking.

It would certainly make academic papers interesting.

Oh, and here’s a random thought about academic papers. What if documents that presented experimental data weren’t allowed to draw conclusions? What if the declaration of conclusions was a separate document?

We did see people talking about planets in the I:B prototype, while they are moons. So in a way, we can already see it used that way.

The problem, though, is that people will want words for “non-moon” planets. And I guess people also want words for “alone in orbit” planets.

Nothing wrong with using “planet” for any celestial body big enough to be spherical and too small to undergo nuclear fusion (whether this includes lithium nuclear fusion or only proton-proton chain reaction being left for a later debate). But then we’ll need new terms for those other cases that are bundled in the “planet” definition at the moment.