from the i-do-know-a-sun-is-a-mass-of-incandescent-gas dept.
eldavojohn writes "What makes a planet a planet? Slashdot covered the great debate about whether or not Pluto qualified and Space.com now has up an article explaining why we'll never have the term 'planet' defined to a point that everyone can agree on. Divisions in the scientific community currently stand over whether or not it has to be in orbit around a star, the dynamics of the body in question and apparently the country you come from plays a part in it too. Some feel the United States is the dominant deciding factor on the definition but the IAU has not turned to democratizing the definition yet." From the article: "In the broadest terms, a planet could be thought of as anything from an 800-kilometer-wide (500-mile-wide) round rock orbiting a dead star to a colossal gas ball floating alone in space."
We can found no scientific discipline, nor a healthy profession on the
technical mistakes of the Department of Defense and IBM.
-- Edsger Dijkstra