Overview. The planet vote of 2006 and the reaction. Hubble observations of Ceres and Pluto

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1 Hubble observations of Ceres and Pluto What is a planet? Eris and Dysnomia Max Mutchler Space Telescope Science Institute Overview Pink elephant: planet vote, and reaction History: our evolving perspective The problem of being first: Ceres & Pluto Follow the data (not the voting) A moment of discovery: Nix and Hydra Inspiring kids, and teachable moments Astronomical Society of the Pacific Education and Public Outreach Workshop September 16, 2006, Baltimore The planet vote of 2006 and the reaction

2 City of Madison Legislative File Number Proclaiming Pluto as Madison's ninth planet WHEREAS, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) has recently declared that Pluto is no longer a planet of our solar system and is instead part of a new category of planets that they intend to name "dwarf" planets; and WHEREAS, one of the reasons for this demotion is that Pluto is small, which they call being a "dwarf," suggesting the IAU does not tolerate diversity; and WHEREAS, Pluto's orbit intersects the orbit of Neptune and is somewhat elliptical, which also is being used as a reason for disqualifying it as a planet, suggesting that the IAU really does not tolerate planets pursuing different lifestyles; and NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the City of Madison declares that Pluto is its ninth planet. BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the City supports Pluto and values its dwarf status. BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the City supports planets that take a different path, such as Ceres and Xena. BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the City requests the International Astronomical Union to reconsider its decision, to grant Ceres and UB313 planetary status, and to give UB313 the name Xena as a gesture of inclusiveness. Final Resolution 5 for GA-XXVI: Definition of a Planet 24 August 2006 The IAU therefore resolves that planets and other bodies in our Solar System, except satellites, be defined into three distinct categories in the following way: (1) A planet is a celestial body that (a) is in orbit around the Sun, (b) has sufficient mass for its self-gravity to overcome rigid body forces so that it assumes a hydrostatic equilibrium (nearly round) shape, and (c) has cleared the neighbourhood around its orbit. (2) A dwarf planet is a celestial body that (a) is in orbit around the Sun, (b) has sufficient mass for its self-gravity to overcome rigid body forces so that it assumes a hydrostatic equilibrium (nearly round) shape, (c) has not cleared the neighbourhood around its orbit, and (d) is not a satellite. Is Charon a satellite, or part of a binary dwarf planet? (3) All other objects, except satellites, orbiting the Sun shall be referred to collectively as Small Solar System Bodies. Dysnomia and Ceres are dwarf planets? Nix Y Y Y Eris Hydra Y?? Planet X becomes just an ex-planet On Sept. 7, the former 9th planet was assigned the asteroid number by the Minor Planet Center, the official organization responsible for collecting data about asteroids and comets in our solar system. Pluto's companion satellites, Charon, Nix and Hydra are considered part of the same system and will not be assigned separate asteroid numbers, instead they will be called I, II and III, respectively. There are currently 136,563 asteroid objects recognized by the MPC; 2,224 new objects were added last week, of which Pluto was the first. Other notable objects to receive asteroid numbers included 2003 UB313, also known as "Xena," and the recently discovered Kuiper Belt objects 2003 EL61 and 2005 FY9. Their asteroid numbers are , and , respectively. Asteroid (alias Pluto) Citation from IAU Minor Planet Circular on the naming of Asteroid 6815 Mutchler Historical perspective: how many planets are there? Antiquity -- 7 planets in geocentric model (Moon, Mercury, Venus, Sun, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn) planets in heliocentric model (add Earth, remove Moon and Sun); the reaction was truly Medieval! planets (add Uranus) planets (add Ceres, Pallas, Juno, Vesta) planets (add Astraea) planets (add Neptune) planets (too many objects in Asteroid Belt to include them all feeling any déjà vu yet?) planets (add Pluto) 1992 Discovery of 1992 QB 1 the Kuiper Belt! 2005 Discovery of Eris (UB 313 ) planets (remove Pluto; don t add Ceres, Charon, Eris or other dwarf planets )

3 Ceres and Pluto: The ugly duckling problem of being the first of an entire class Asteroid Belt Kuiper Belt Discovered Discovered in 1992 or 1930? Inferring planets from extra-solar Kuiper Belt s (vice versa): where planetary meets stellar astronomy Will our planet definition work here? Elsewhere? Ceres Dawn New Horizons Vesta 2011 Ceres 2015 Pluto The Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) ) was installed during Hubble s s last servicing mission in 2002 Ground-based Hubble Hubble undithered dithered Ground-based Hubble Hubble undithered dithered High resolution images of Ceres reveal roundness, surface features, and colors High resolution images of Ceres reveal roundness, surface features, and colors

4 Three different faces of Ceres Three different faces of Ceres Why does roundness matter? Differentiation of the asteroid Ceres as revealed by its shape Thomas, Parker, McFadden, Russell, Stern, Sykes, Young, 2005, Nature Letters, Vol Hubble observations of Pluto On August 24, 2006, the new high-resolution color image of Ceres was appended to the original 2005 release. Many Hubble observations or Pluto since the early 1990s 2005 observations were mission support for New Horizons High-risk high-gain observations: expectations were low What the night of 15 June 2005 felt like for me.

5 Pluto moons discovery observations Notice the star trails, cosmic rays, chip gap ACS Wide Field Channel (WFC) covers entire orbital stability zone Pluto-Charon near chip gap: peek-a-boo! 4 long exposures on May 15 and again on May 18, 2005 Discovery on June 15, 2005: try it yourself 15 May 2005, frame 1 Notice the star trails, cosmic rays, chip gap Dithering across the chip gap now see anything? 15 May 2005, frame 2 15 May 2005, frame 3 Dithering across the chip gap now see anything? Looking for real objects among all the artifacts 15 May 2005, frame 4 15 May 2005, sum 4 frames

6 Looking for real objects among all the artifacts Clean image 15 May 2005, median 4 frames 18 May 2005, median 4 frames New moons are roughly 3-4x farther out than Charon, and co-planar with possible 6:4:1 orbital resonances Pre-discovery observations in 2002 Hydra (P1) Charon Nix (P2) 15 and 18 May 2005, median 8 frames Hubble program by Buie & Young Primarily designed to map surface features (albedo) of Pluto and Charon Now knowing exactly where to look: new moons marginally detected Additional points for orbit determinations What does a quadruple planet look like? Note to self: cancel one-way flight to remote island Animation produced with Celestia Clean drizzled V image on 15 Feb 2006

7 What we ve learned about Nix and Hydra Feb/Mar 2006 data confirmed the discovery, and orbit predictions; moons are colorless or gray Orbits are co-planar with Charon, nearly circular, possibly in stable resonances with each other Moons probably formed primordially with Charon (collision) 4 billion years ago, not later (captured) No other moons of similar magnitude; a very compact system Implies there are probably many Kuiper Belt Objects with multiple satellites More Hubble observations in 2007, New Horizons flyby in 2015 Ground-based (VLT) detection of Hydra, June 2006 Highest-resolution image of quadruple Pluto system Common origin of Pluto and all 3 moons: a giant impact ~4 billion years ago Relative sizes of Pluto, Charon, and new moons (P1 and P2) Nix Hydra 2300 km 1200 km ~100 km Similar to Earth-Moon formation? The new moons are roughly 12x smaller and 600x fainter than Charon, and 4000x fainter than Pluto Feb 23, 2006 Annette and Patsy Tombaugh June 2006 Jim Christy Jim Christy New Horizons launch 19 January 2006

8 because I was inspired I m m delighted when Hubble inspires kids No one can say that we have come to the end of discoveries in the Solar System. New tools and methods such as computing machines and observatories in space outside the Earth s atmosphere, man(kind) will get much better views of the far reaches of the Solar System. Standing on the shoulders of the scientists of centuries past, patient and brilliant astronomers of the future will surely discover more new worlds and have the fun of debating what to name it. 4 th Grade (1974) -- Excerpt from The Search for Planet X, by Tony Simon, 1962 A teachable moment Some personal teachable moments Pluto has not left the Solar System, or changed at all (you are still free to love Pluto with all your heart) Classification is an important tool in science; imperfect, but allows us to move forward Science is not a static body of facts, it is an ongoing process of discovery and healthy debate Progress is sometimes messy, the truth often seems counterintuitive at first not determined by a vote Science has built-in self-correcting mechanisms Astrology is nonsense Placemats and mnemonics: get over it! Naming Pluto s new moons Initially designated S/2005 P1 and S/2005 P2 Team consciously avoided temporary nicknames, but did reveal Baltimore and Boulder later Team submitted list of ~50 names for discussion Mythologically-correct natural pair? Rename Charon?!? Hidden tributes (PLuto, Char-on New Horizons) Consultations (Classics Professor, book!) Wrangling with the IAU: asteroid Nyx, constellation Hydra Nix (P2): mother of Charon Hydra (P1): guardian of the underworld Draft Resolution 5 for GA-XXVI: Definition of a Planet 16 August 2006 (initial proposal) (1) 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) shape1, and (b) is in orbit around a star, and is neither a star nor a satellite of a planet. (2) We distinguish between the eight classical planets discovered before 1900, which move in nearly circular orbits close to the ecliptic plane, and other planetary objects in orbit around the Sun. All of these other objects are smaller than Mercury. We recognize that Ceres is a planet by the above scientific definition. For historical reasons, one may choose to distinguish Ceres from the classical planets by referring to it as a dwarf planet. (3) We recognize Pluto to be a planet by the above scientific definition, as are one or more recently discovered large Trans-Neptunian Objects. In contrast to the classical planets, these objects typically have highly inclined orbits with large eccentricities and orbital periods in excess of 200 years. We designate this category of planetary objects, of which Pluto is the prototype, as a new class that we call plutons. (4) All non-planet objects orbiting the Sun shall be referred to collectively as Small Solar System Bodies.

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