Study suggests we reclassify the moon as a planet—reopening a centuries-old debate


Will the moon move from servant to equal? Credit: Gregory H. Revera/wikipedia, CC BY-SA

Every now and then a scientific paper makes a real splash. We had one recently, to judge from recent headlines. “Moon rises to claim its place as a planet” said The Sunday Times on February 19, while the Mail Online asked “Is this lunarcy?“. The articles were among many responding to the humble paper: “A Geophysical Planet Definition”, which suggested that the criteria for determining what constitutes a planet need an overhaul. It argued that the moon, Pluto and several other bodies in the solar system should be upgraded to planets.


The paper, published in Planetary and Lunar Science, was written by a team…



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