FREE!! Join us on Wednesday, March 18, 2020, starting at 7:00 pm ET to learn about the concept of "planet" and the current debate by scientists.
Target Audience: All individuals interested in science and science education.
Date: Wednesday March 18, 2020
Time: 7:00 PM ET / 6:00 PM CT / 5:00 PM MT / 4:00 PM PT
New Users: Log in 15 minutes prior to the start time for an introduction to NSTA web seminars.
Duration: 60 minutes
What is a planet? Scientists who study our solar system and others think about planets in different ways. Some focus on the ways that different kinds of solar system bodies (planets, moons, asteroids, and comets) travel in their orbits, and thus define a planet based essentially on where it is. Since 2006, there has been significant professional and public debate about this concept of "planet" because such a definition was adopted as "official" by the International Astronomical Union, resulting in the famous demotion of Pluto from planet to dwarf planet status. However, many other scientists actively working in the field define a planet based not on where it happens to be, but instead on what it is like, intrinsically.
This seminar focuses on the widely-used idea of a "Geophysical Planet Definition", and how it implies that our solar system houses not just eight planets, but perhaps, truly, hundreds.