Thursday, August 17, 2006


Row over Pluto

Pluto is going to remain as planet but would fall in a sub category called as plutons. You might ask what are Plutons? Well plutons are celestial objects that complete one revolution of sun in more than 200 years. Xena and Ceres will also be placed under this sub category of plutons. I must tell you that our moon is bigger than Pluto and Pluto has approximately 1 % mass of our earth. Pluto and its satellite, or we can say as its moon, Charon have often been considered a binary planet because they are more nearly equal in size than any other planet/moon combination in the Solar System. Pluto has two small moons too. One more question arises, how we can say that Xena is larger than Pluto? Well there are two astronomical terms, magnitude and albedo, on the basis of which it is considered that Xena is larger than Pluto. I will define both of them for you:

Albedo is a ratio of scattered to incident electromagnetic radiation power. It do not have any unit. It is a unit less measure of a surface or body's reflectivity.

Apparent magnitude is a measure of apparent brightness of the celestial body to any observer on earth.

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