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Is Pluto a planet or not? Yes, it is and so are over 100 Celestial Bodies

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In this image of Pluto taken by NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft, different colors represent different compositions of surface ices, revealing a surprisingly active body. (Image: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute) VOA
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NEW YORK, March 18, 2017: Is Pluto a planet or not? Giving this debate a fresh angle, Johns Hopkins University scientist Kirby Runyon wants to make one thing clear: Regardless of what people say, Pluto is a planet.

So, Runyon says, is Europa — commonly known as a moon of Jupiter — and so is the Earth’s Moon and so are more than 100 other celestial bodies in our solar system that are denied this status under the prevailing definition of “planet”.

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The definition approved by the International Astronomical Union in 2006 demoted Pluto to “non-planet,” thus dropping the consensus number of planets in our solar system from nine to eight.

“The change – a subject of much scientific debate at the time and since – made no sense,” said Runyon, lead author of a paper set to be presented next week at a scientific conference in Texas.

Icy, rocky Pluto had been the smallest of the nine planets; its diameter under three-quarters that of the moon and nearly a fifth of Earth.

Still, says Runyon, Pluto “has everything going on on its surface that you associate with a planet. … There’s nothing non-planet about it”.

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Runyon led a group of six authors from five institutions in drafting a proposed new definition of “planet,” and a justification for that definition.

All the authors are science team members on the New Horizons mission to Pluto, operated for Nasa by the John Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory.

In the summer of 2015, the New Horizons spacecraft became the first to fly by Pluto, some 4.67 billion miles from Earth, passing within 8,000 miles and sending back the first close-up images ever made of Pluto.

Runyon and his co-authors argue for a definition of “planet” that focuses on the intrinsic qualities of the body itself, rather than external factors such as its orbit or other objects around it.

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They define a planet as “a sub-stellar mass body that has never undergone nuclear fusion” and that has enough gravitational heft to maintain a roughly round shape.

This definition differs from the IAU definition in that it makes no reference to the celestial body’s surroundings.

That portion of IAU’s 2006 formula – which required that a planet and its satellitesmove alone through their orbit – excluded Pluto.

Otherwise, Pluto fit the IAU definition: It orbits the Sun and it is massive enough that the forces of gravity have made it round.

The proposed new geophysical definition omits stars, black holes, asteroids and meteorites, but includes much of everything else in our solar system.

It would expand the number of planets from eight to approximately 110. (IANS)

 

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According to Research, No Exercise For 6 Years Can Trigger Heart Failure Risk

Too busy or lazy to exercise? Men and women take note. Living without physical activity for six years during their middle age could be at an increased risk of suffering heart failure, researchers have warned.

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heart attack
representational image. pixabay

Too busy or lazy to exercise? Men and women take note. Living without physical activity for six years during their middle age could be at an increased risk of suffering heart failure, researchers have warned.

The findings, described in the journal Circulation, suggest that consistently participating in the recommended 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity each week, such as brisk walking or biking, in middle age can reduce the heart failure risk by 31 per cent.

While it is known that people who are more physically active have lower risks of heart failure than those who are less active, but little is known about the impact of changes in exercise levels over time on heart failure risk.

Heart
representational image. pixabay

 

“Going from no exercise to recommended activity levels over six years in middle age may reduce heart failure risk by 23 per cent,” said Chiadi Ndumele, Assistant Professor at the Johns Hopkins University in Maryland, US.

For the study, the team included 11,351 participants, with an average age 60, monitored annually for an average of 19 years.

According to the American Heart Association, the “recommended” amount is at least 75 minutes per week of vigorous intensity or at least 150 minutes per week of moderate intensity exercise.

Heart failure risk decreased by about 12 per cent in the participants who increased their physical activity category from poor to intermediate or recommended, or from intermediate to recommended, compared with those with consistently poor or intermediate activity ratings.

Representational image.
Heart failure risk decreased by about 12 percent of the participants who increased their physical activity. Pixabay

Conversely, heart failure risk increased by 18 percent in the participants who reported decreased physical activity from visit one to visit three, compared with those with consistently recommended or intermediate activity levels.

Unlike the heart attack, in which heart muscle dies, heart failure is marked by a long-term, chronic inability of the heart to pump enough blood, or pump it hard enough, to bring needed oxygen to the body.

Also Read: Drug Used For Osteoporosis May Help in Reducing Heart Attack Risk

The leading cause of hospitalizations in those over 65, the disorder’s risk factors include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, smoking and a family history. (IANS)