Why Is Pluto Not a Planet?

History of Pluto's Discovery Pluto was previously considered a planet since it's discovery in 1930 by Clyde Tombaugh. Pluto had little resistance to its classification as the ninth planet upon its discovery. This may have been a slight case of confirmation bias since the presence of a "ninth planet" or "planet X" was hypothesized by Percival Lowell. Lowell believed that the apparent discrepancies of Uranus were the causation of another planet beyond Neptune. Pluto was within only 6 degrees of the predicted location of the ninth planet as predicted by Lowell. However, Lowell predicted that this planet would be around 6.6 the mass of Earth.As telescopes improved, we were able to learn more about Pluto. In 1950, Gerard Kuiper was able to observe Pluto as a spherical world using a 200-inch telescope at Mount Palomar. Kuiper estimated that Pluto's diameter was around 5,900 kilometers. Pluto was observed as it passed near…

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3 Reasons Why People Still Believe the Archaic Flat Earth Theory

I must say that I am fascinated by this growing "anti-flat earther" movement online in response to flat-earthers and other fringe conspiracy theories. The people within this trend are adamant about proving that the Earth is a globe. I second their motion. However, how they go about the business of addressing this issue leaves much to be desired.They usually come from a logical point of view, which is excellent for most assertions regarding our world's nature, but it has inherent flaws and doesn't acknowledge the real issue at hand with flat earthers.If empirical evidence is all that was needed to whisk away the pesky idea, then it wouldn't exist, but yet it persists. Our knights in shining armor are heavily armed, but maybe a little too armed. The dynamic between flat earthers and anti-flat earthers is a mirror image of most political conflicts in our times.In this scenario, one is correct,…

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Why Revenge of the Sith is My All Time Favorite Movie

It’s been a long week, so I decided to take a moment to forget about things and enjoy some good old fashion TV. I don’t have cable since TV isn’t my thing, but Amazon Prime is. I turned on my Xbox and immediately flipped through movies and television shows. I grazed a couple of titles, but my interest was apathetic at best. Then, I had a bright idea…I haven’t seen my favorite movie in a while: Star Wars, Revenge of the Sith. As I watched the opening battle scene, I wondered why people hated this film so much? It truly is my FAVORITE movie, not a top-five movie, but my FAVORITE. A friend of mine once said, “ignorance is bliss” when I explained why Revenge of the Sith was my favorite movie. I replied that I imagine it must be a wonderful life not knowing and living with the burden of knowing…

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Solar Eclipse 2017 Experience: A Moment in Totality

Experiencing the Eclipse No matter what you read on Facebook, 2017 has been a great year, especially for astronomy and space. The top three astronomical events that come to mind first were the discovery of the Trappist planets, the completion of Juno's mission to Jupiter and the American Solar Eclipse. Experiencing the Solar Eclipse was the first time I witnessed an eclipse with my own eyes. What I can unequivocally say is that it was one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen in my life. I advise anyone, no matter what interests or knowledge level, to see a total solar eclipse at least once in your lifetime. The next one over North America will be April 8, 2024, so don't miss it! I saw the eclipse with a close friend in Makanda, IL, at Star View Vineyards. There were already about twenty to thirty people scattered around the front…

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Space Music: Solarbeat

As a former graphic designer, I have always loved interactive projects. That's why I was ecstatic when I found the interactive musical project created by Luke Twyman and Whitevinyl!SolarBeat features musical chords using the real orbital frequencies of the eight planets along with the dwarf planets Ceres and Pluto. The tunes can be adjusted to add more echo, flutter, and bass. Along with these adjustments, scale and speed can be adjusted as well. So the next time you're bored or have some free time play some Solar System tunes.Since the planetary orbital frequencies are real, the interactive project can serve as an education piece for young students wanting to understand the differences in time each planet takes to orbit the Sun.Luke Twyman is a talented interactive designer, photographer, web developer, singer, and musician based out of Brighton, UK. He's the man behind Neverest Songs (not to be mistaken for the Canadian band) and some…

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Why Space Needs Marketers

With the rise of "NewSpace," we have seen some companies on the rise with a vision of how they see themselves in this new age space race. Engineers are scientists flushed with start-up capital launching programs and initiatives in what seems to be a daily basis. Companies such as SpaceX, Blue Origin, and Virgin Galactic have lofty the goals when it comes to getting humans in space. Sadly, they've seemed to miss a crucial element of space exploration that ultimately doomed NASA.The problem is pretty straightforward. As long as there are issues such as healthcare, taxes, unemployment, education, and poverty, space isn't top of mind for 95% of people. You and your friends my love space, but the public is lukewarm at best when it comes to traveling the stars. Most people couldn't name all eight planets or what is the Sun made out of a lesser-known dream of going to…

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What are Exoplanets?

One of the best-kept secrets of our times is the fact that planets exist outside of our Solar System. Exoplanets are planets orbiting one of the billions of stars we see in the nighttime sky. As our ability to search through the vastness of space increases, we continue to find ourselves faced with an ever-expanding potential of discovering planets that could look and behave a lot like Earth. That's all fine and dandy, but wouldn't you instead impress your friends with your exoplanetary knowledge? Look no further! The History of Exoplanetary Exploration Humans began their interest in exoplanets around the 16th century. The Italian philosopher Giordano Bruno was the first to publicly support the idea based off of his belief in the Copernican theory that Earth and the other known planets of the time were indeed orbiting around the sun. He speculated that this should also be the case for different…

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Solar Republic – Year of the Sun Playlist

The Solar Republic - Year of the Sun playlist is my humble opinion, one of the best space playlists you'll find online. The playlist was inspired by the card game Solar Republic, based on the planets, moons, and Sun of our Solar System. The playlist includes contemporary trip-hop, indie, and NASA soundbites. Perfect for capturing the essence of interplanetary travel as a here and now proposition, not some futuristic fantasy.Coming from a lifelong space lover, I always found much to be desired with most playlists. They were almost always overly orchestral or presented excessive electronic music. "Space" or the thought of the place just outside of our atmosphere has always been portrayed as a far away, distant and alien place where only robots and computers could thrive. We see this with "Space ambiance" playlists on Youtube or with one Google search of "Space Music, " and you'll get big names such…

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