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Can Pluto become a planet again? Understand the scientific debate

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*This text was written by a columnist from TecMundo; learn more at the end.

More than 15 years after the official definition of the IAU (International Astronomical Union) categorizing what planets are, many people still resent the fact that Pluto is no longer considered a planet. Therefore, when a new proposal was suggested about the classification of planets, many people were excited by the possibility of a historical reparation.

First, let’s remember which objects fit the current classification, defined in 2006. To be a planet an object must:

  1. orbit a star
  2. Achieve hydrostatic equilibrium, i.e. be round
  3. To be the gravitationally dominant object of its orbit.

In the case of Pluto, the criterion not met is number 3, due to the presence of Charon. Charon until then was considered a natural satellite of Pluto. However, the mass ratio indicates that, instead of Charon orbiting Pluto, the two objects orbit a common center of mass. This indicates that Pluto could not be considered the dominant object in the orbit, but rather that it shared the position with Charon. This fact changed the classification of the system to a dual dwarf planet. And a lot of people didn’t like that.

Dual dwarf planet system Pluto and CharonDual dwarf planet system Pluto and CharonSource: APOD

Now, the 2006 IAU definition is not by chance. As technology advanced, it became increasingly possible to detect smaller objects within the Solar System, and the number of such objects was constantly growing. This fact called for an official classification of planet and other categories of objects.

THE final definition It did not come easily and involved many proposals, debates, criticisms and arguments. But finally, on August 24, 2006, an official proposal was reached and, as an immediate consequence, Pluto would no longer be classified as a planet. To assuage the resentment, a new category of dwarf planets was also created: plutoids, where Pluto is prototype. These objects are beyond Neptune and have enough mass to achieve a quasi-spherical shape. However, like Pluto, they have not cleared their orbit. The creation of the category reaffirms Pluto’s importance to astronomy. Some objects classified as plutoid dwarf planets are Eris, Makemake and Haumea and the list is expected to continue growing.

Largest objects other than Neptune, the 4 largest are classified as dwarf planets and the remaining 6 are candidates.Largest objects other than Neptune, the 4 largest are classified as dwarf planets and the remaining 6 are candidates.Source: Wikipedia

Even with the new category, 15 years later the spirits have not calmed down and a new study published made a bold proposal: to abolish the classification of natural satellites. With the proposal, the Solar System would have more than 150 planets. Scientists involved want to revisit the Copernican Revolution definition of a planet, and argue that many natural satellites and planets share the same intrinsic geophysical properties.

The discussion can be extended to planets outside the Solar System. Like added Jean-Luc Margot, astronomer and professor at the University of California, the current definition also plays a role in classifying exoplanets, as it would currently be impossible to understand whether an exoplanet is geologically active or not.

With tempers running high, many wonder if this new study is enough to hit the hammer in classifying planets. The answer is noto the. It is an article published in a scientific journal and alone does not represent an official classification.

However, the definition of the category “planet” is not written in stone and can, in the future, be changed. Of course, for that to happen, argumentation and debate are necessary. Finally, the official final word of the representative body of astronomy in the world, that is, the IAU.

It is important to note that the official definition of a category does not follow opinion. Who doesn’t remember when the NASA administrator stated that believed that Pluto would always be a planet? It is worth remembering that Jim Bridenstine is not an astronomer and his opinions do not define NASA’s guidelines. And, more than that, it is worth remembering that NASA alone does not dictate official astronomy categorizations.

Pluto's atmosphere.Pluto’s atmosphere.Source: NASA/JHU-APL/SRI

With the new images from the New Horizons spacecraft, Pluto has once again conquered our hearts with his heart. But regardless of the current taxonomy, the actual configuration of the Solar System is unchanged and the sky remains free for appreciation.

Camila de Sa Freitas, columnist for TecMundo, holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in astronomy. She is currently a PhD student at the European Southern Observatory (Germany). Self-styled Galaxy Coroner, investigates evolutionary scenarios for galaxies and possible changes in the manufacture of stars. He is present on social media as @astronomacamila.

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Phones

Samsung is preparing a smartphone that will be weaker than its predecessor two years ago. Galaxy M54 will receive SoC Exynos 1380

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Samsung is preparing a smartphone that will be weaker than

Smartphone Samsung Galaxy M54 lit up in the Geekbench database. Unfortunately, as previously reported, he will not receive any SoC Snapdragon 888, although this is expected.

Samsung is preparing a smartphone that will be weaker than its predecessor two years ago.  Galaxy M54 will receive SoC Exynos 1380

Samsung’s mid-budget novelty will receive the same platform as the Galaxy A54. Probably, the Galaxy A34 will also receive it.

We are talking about the not yet presented Exynos 1380, which will replace the Exynos 1280. In the benchmark, the new SoC scores 750 and almost 2700 points in single-threaded and multi-threaded modes, respectively. And this is almost the level of Snapdragon 778G, that is, this is an excellent result for a mid-budget smartphone. True, we are only talking about processor performance, and we do not yet know which GPU the new SoC will receive.

Samsung is preparing a smartphone that will be weaker than its predecessor two years ago.  Galaxy M54 will receive SoC Exynos 1380

It is also worth noting that the Galaxy M52 was also based on the Snapdragon 778G, and the Galaxy M53 received a slightly less productive Dimensity 900. Thus, the Galaxy M54 model, at least in terms of the processor part, will be slightly inferior even not to its predecessor, but to the device two years ago.

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Phones

Bullitt Group and MediaTek want to launch a satellite-enabled smartphone

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Bullitt Group and MediaTek want to launch a satellite enabled smartphone

The British manufacturer Bullitt Group, which produces devices under the brands CAT and Motorola, intends to release a smartphone with satellite communications. They want to implement this project together with the Chinese chipmaker MediaTek.

Bullitt Group and MediaTek want to launch a satellite-enabled smartphone

It is assumed that the new smartphone will provide calls and text data via satellite, although it is not yet clear how this will work. The device itself will be released in the first quarter of 2023.

The novelty has been developed for two years, so the project is nearing completion. According to Bullitt Group co-founder Richard Wharton, previously the seamless integration of satellite communications into a smartphone was accompanied by problems, but now they are solved.

The new phone will be the first to use MediaTek’s 3GPP NTN chipset. The software will keep track of what type of connection is currently being used – Wi-Fi or cellular network. The connection to the satellite will be carried out only in the absence of both of these options.

It is claimed that the time to connect to the satellite and send a message is about 10 seconds. This is longer than a regular connection, but still pretty fast.

Note that Apple already has this and Samsung will soon have it.

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Components

The GeForce RTX 4080 can also be overclocked to incredible frequencies. Galax RTX 4080 SG took the frequency over 3.6 GHz on the core

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The GeForce RTX 4080 can also be overclocked to incredible

Galax continues to prove that they are one of the best when it comes to overclocking graphics cards. After the departure of EVGA, Galax as a whole is probably the only company that places a strong emphasis on this direction.

The GeForce RTX 4080 can also be overclocked to incredible frequencies.  Galax RTX 4080 SG took the frequency over 3.6 GHz on the core

The GeForce RTX 4080 SG model was able to overclock to a frequency of over 3.6 GHz on the core. More precisely, we are talking about a frequency of 3615 MHz. This is slightly less than the RTX 4090 HOF at 3.8 GHz, but it’s still an incredible figure. Especially if you keep in mind that the GeForce RTX 4080 SG is no match for the HOF versions. At the same time, it is not yet known whether Galax will release the RTX 4080 HOF.

The GeForce RTX 4080 can also be overclocked to incredible frequencies.  Galax RTX 4080 SG took the frequency over 3.6 GHz on the core

Galax, unfortunately, does not disclose overclocking details, but it can be assumed that we are talking about the use of liquid nitrogen, as in the case of extreme overclocking RTX 4090 HOF.

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