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At The Adler | What Is A Planet?

Since it's discovery, and 10 years after its reclassification to dwarf planet, Pluto is still plagued by its lack of true planet status. This begs the question, if Pluto isn't a planet, then what is? What made the International Astronomical Union reclassify Pluto in 2006? On March 19th, the Adler Planetarium will be opening their newest temporary exhibition, What Is a Planet?, which explores the answers to these very questions.

The accepted definition of a planet has changed quite a bit over the past 500 years. At various moments the term has been used to describe the Sun, the Moon, and asteroids. And would you believe that Earth - the most familiar planet of all - hasn't always been considered a planet?!

So how do you define a planet? As scientists learn more about how the Universe works, they make discoveries that don't fit neatly into old ways of thinking. In What is a Planet?, visitors will discover that new approaches and perspectives in science can change how we define worlds near and far.

What To Expect:

  • Witness how astronomers and the media reacted to Pluto's demotion in 2006.
  • Learn what the current definition of a planet is and hear what Adler astronomers think of this current definition.
  • Voice your opinion about Pluto alongside skeptics and space enthusiasts through an interactive voting poll in real-time.
  • Explore artifacts from the Adler collections that illustrate the ever-evolving definition of a planet.

This temporary exhibition, which is included with general admission, will be open to the public from March 19, 2016 through January 8, 2017.

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Here's what Science At NASA says about the question!

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Comments welcome.



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Posted on March 8, 2016


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