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New study suggests Pluto could be reclassified as a planet



Pluto, as its official name, is a dwarf planet located in the Kuiper Belt, a distant region made up of millions of icy bodies beyond the orbit of Neptune. Although, a new study published in the planetary science journal Icarus, challenges this definition and rekindles, at least partially, the debate over its validity..

Pluto was designated as the ninth planet in our Solar System shortly after its discovery in 1930. At the time, many astronomers assumed that it was responsible for the observed perturbations in Neptune’s orbit that prompted searches for an even more distant planet.

Pluto.Pluto.Source: NASA/New Horizons

However, later observations soon determined that Pluto was smaller than the hypothetical planet initially assumed. With the discovery of the largest of its moons, Charon, in 1978, it was possible to determine the mass of Pluto, which resulted in the conclusion that it is not able to exert the gravitational influence of the observed perturbations.

It turned out, then, that Pluto is significantly smaller and less massive than all the other planets in the Solar System. Indeed, it gets to be smaller than our own moon, whose radius is approximately 1700 kilometers. Furthermore, its orbit is much more inclined with respect to the plane of the ecliptic (the plane defined by the Earth’s orbit around the Sun) than all other planetary orbits.

Pluto's orbit compared to other planets.Pluto’s orbit compared to other planets.Source: NASA

At the beginning of this century, the discovery of other bodies of comparable size to Pluto, such as Eris, Makemake and Sedna, led to a reformulation of the classification of planets. In 2006, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) adopted a new definition of a planet based on three main characteristics: a body that has established a stable orbit around the Sun; a body that developed a spheroidal shape, and finally; the body that has cleared its orbit of remaining debris (that is, it is the main celestial body of its orbit).

Although Pluto meets the first two categories, it fails the third condition, since its orbit passes very close to the Kuiper Belt, where short-period comets originate. Since 2006, then, Pluto, along with some of the other bodies discovered, have been demoted to the category of dwarf planets.

However, a team of scientists wants Pluto to be reclassified as a planet, along with dozens of similar bodies in the Solar System. The 5-year study was published in December and is led by Philip Metzger of the Florida Space Institute. The authors argue that the IAU definition was based on a “popular concept of a planet that contradicts the scientific view” and that redefining these taxonomic concepts is vital for planetary science..

According to the authors, the current classification of planets is unscientific and the classic definition, from the 16th century, that planets are any geologically active bodies in space should be reasserted.

In addition to Pluto, this definition would include many other objects, from the asteroid Ceres to the moons Europa, Enceladus and Titan, and the Solar System would have up to more than 150 planets.



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Redmi K70 will reach the level of premium flagships. It will have a 2K screen, Snapdragon 8 Gen 3, a metal side frame and a glass back panel



Redmi K70 will reach the level of premium flagships It

Insider Digital Chat Station spoke not only about the future of One Plus Ace 3, but also about Redmi K70, the premiere of which is expected this year. Judging by the informant’s words, this model will turn into a premium flagship – both in terms of characteristics and finishing materials.

Redmi K70 will reach the level of premium flagships.  It will have a 2K screen, Snapdragon 8 Gen 3, a metal side frame and a glass back panel

The Redmi K70 will have much less plastic compared to its predecessor: the side frame will be metal, and the back panel will be glass. At least, this is how the prototype of the smartphone is designed.

Redmi K70 will have a screen with a frame of minimal thickness. This will be a locally produced (Chinese) display with a 2K resolution. The hardware platform will be based on the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 SoC. The battery capacity will be 5000 mAh and will support 100 W charging. The main camera will have a 50-megapixel main sensor and will have optical image stabilization. A second sensor with a telephoto lens will provide at least 3x zoom.

According to the insider, Redmi K70, OnePlus Ace 3 and Relame GT Neo 6 will have a metal side frame. Apparently, these models will compete with each other.

Previously, Digital Chat Station was the first to accurately report the specifications and release dates of Redmi K50 and Xiaomi 12, as well as Xiaomi 13.

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Dust and radio waves have helped astronomers discover a connection between two key characteristics of galaxies



Dust and radio waves have helped astronomers discover a connection

At the center of almost every known galaxy, including our Milky Way, is a supermassive black hole—black holes with the mass of millions or billions of our Sun. In some galaxies, there is also a lot of material at the center that feeds this supermassive black hole, making it “active.”

The most powerful type of such active galaxies are called quasars – they are among the brightest objects in the Universe. Most quasars appear “blue” due to a disk of material around them that feeds a supermassive black hole that radiates brightly in the optical and ultraviolet ranges.

However, astronomers have discovered that a significant portion of these quasars appear “red.” Understanding the physics of these red quasars requires spectroscopic measurements to analyze the quasar’s light in different wavelength ranges. The spectrum of a quasar can indicate the amount of dust in the space surrounding the central region. Observing radio emissions from quasars can also reveal evidence of a central supermassive black hole.

Dust and radio waves have helped astronomers discover a connection between two key characteristics of galaxies

“Red” quasar as imagined by the artist. “Red” quasars are shrouded in gas and dust, which are carried away by the flow of a supermassive black hole, eventually exposing a typical “blue” quasar. Source: S. Munro & L. Klindt.

The study used spectroscopic observations from the DESI instrument, which was used to measure the amount of dust in a sample of about 35,000 quasars and relate the data to observed radio emission. The scientists found that DESI was able to observe much redder (dusty) quasars compared to similar previous spectroscopic studies, such as the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS). And also “red” quasars much more often have stronger radio emission compared to typical “blue” quasars.

Dr Fossett said: “This study puts many pieces of the red quasar puzzle together and links the dust in the quasar to its radio emissions. I think this is the strongest evidence yet that ‘red’ quasars are a key element in the evolution of galaxies.”

The connection between quasar reddening and radio emission is likely due to powerful outbursts of gas from the supermassive black hole colliding with surrounding dust, generating waves and radio emission. These ejections eventually carry away all the dust and gas from the central region of the galaxy, revealing the blue quasar and leading to a weakening of the radio emission.

This process fits with the increasingly popular idea that “red” quasars are a younger phase in the evolution of galaxies. Therefore, they quasars could be extremely important for understanding how galaxies evolve over time.

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Beijing’s space evolution: commercial space and satellite “constellations” as key industries of the future



Beijings space evolution commercial space and satellite constellations as key

On September 8, the central office of the Beijing Municipal Government released a notice on the “Implementation Plan for Promoting the Innovative Development of Future Industries.” This is the implementation of national plans and priorities published over the past two years.

The Plan lists specific areas within broad thematic sections. These include information technology (including 6G, artificial intelligence and quantum computing), manufacturing, healthcare, energy and space.

The Commercial Space Plan calls for accelerating the development and production of medium- and large-scale commercial rockets, 3D-printed rockets, reusable clean-burning rocket engines, and re-entry commercial spacecraft. The main efforts will be united in such areas as vertical launch and return of rockets, manned suborbital flights and clearing the Earth’s orbit of space debris. It is also planned to promote projects to create rocket engines and related key components, and build test sites.

Beijing's space evolution: commercial space and satellite “constellations” as key industries of the future

View of the interior of the payload fairing of Galactic Energy’s Ceres-1 rocket. Source: Galactic Energy

The satellite section states its intent to actively support communications satellites, software-driven satellites, and mass production satellite platforms. Other priority areas focus on laser communications, high-precision radar and optical sensing of the Earth. Priorities include the development of satellite constellations for high-resolution data, fast updates, full coverage of optical and radar remote sensing systems, as well as low-orbit Internet of Things satellites and navigation satellite constellations.

The measures taken are already in line with China’s previously announced national plan to build a space-to-ground information network (or SGIIN). The country plans to create a system that integrates communications, remote sensing, navigation, meteorology and other satellite capabilities.

Beijing is home to a cluster of large state-owned and emerging commercial companies. Rocket companies are concentrated in the southern part of the city, while satellite-related businesses are concentrated in the northern part. In 2021, Beijing presented stages for the development of the satellite Internet industry.

Landspace, iSpace, Galactic Energy, Deep Blue Aerospace and Space Pioneer are a few of the leading commercial launch startups with headquarters or other key facilities in Beijing. GalaxySpace, Minospace, Smart Satellite and HEAD Aerospace are some of the commercial companies involved in satellite communications, small satellite manufacturing, synthetic aperture radar and other remote sensing satellites. Many of these companies are already engaged in activities described in Beijing’s Plan, including developing reusable rockets, expanding Earth remote sensing capabilities and mass production of satellites.

As a result, highlighting current achievements in the field of space exploration, the Chinese space agency has expressed its readiness to offer commercial cargo delivery.

Beijing’s policies are in line with guidance from the national plan: China’s central government announced plans to identify and develop future industries in March 2021, with a draft overall plan for the next five years (2021-2025) and long-term goals until 2035.

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