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ALP MONTHLY MEETING REPORT
by James Kevin Ty
Last October 7, amid an expected low turnout of members
of the much publicized Pacquiao-Barrera boxing match that was telecast
a bit late in the afternoon, some active members still attended the meeting
at Manila Planetarium. Members who were present
were James Kevin Ty , Charito Ty, James' son Kendrick Cole Ty, Jett Aguilar,
Brian Davis, Belen Pabunan, Peter Benedict Tubalinal, and Omar Turqueza.
Since it was raining, the scheduled solar observation was cancelled. Meeting started at around 3:00pm with ALP observation chairman Peter Benedict Tubalinal doing an interesting lecture entitled Pluto: How It Got Demoted. He discussed on some basic facts on Pluto. Then he explained in detail how the debacle on Pluto got started in 2002 and with the discovery of Xena (later renamed Eris) in 2005, IAU finally on August 24, 2006 decided to demote Pluto into a "dwarf planet" status.
They resolved that planets and other bodies, except satellites, in our Solar System be defined into three distinct categories in the following way:
(1) A planet is a celestial body that (a) is in orbit around the Sun, (b) has sufficient mass for its self-gravity to overcome rigid body forces so that it assumes a hydrostatic equilibrium (nearly round) shape, and (c) has cleared the neighborhood around its orbit.
(2) A "dwarf planet" is a celestial body that (a) is in orbit around the Sun, (b) has sufficient mass for its self-gravity to overcome rigid body forces so that it assumes a hydrostatic equilibrium (nearly round) shape, (c) has not cleared the neighborhood around its orbit, and (d) is not a satellite.
(3) All other objects, except satellites, orbiting the Sun shall be referred to collectively as "Small Solar System Bodies".
Afterwards, ALP president James Kevin Ty added a few more updates to the members on the upcoming November 1st close conjunction of and the M44/Beehive/Praesepe star cluster. It will be a good photo opportunity as they are separated by less than 1 degree only.
The meeting ended at around 4:30pm.
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