What Makes a Planet a Planet?

One of the first questions that a child has as they grow up is about space. They may ask about the stars or even about the planet. It can be said that this childhood curiosity is what drove people to know more about Earth and about space. When in school, a planet is simply defined as a celestial object that moves in an orbit around a star. This is a general definition of a planet but there is more about a planet that actually makes this celestial object to be known as a planet. Some of these characteristics include;

Characteristics of a planet

In order for a celestial object to be classified as a planet, it must meet three main conditions. The three conditions are;

  • Must move in an orbit

This is the main factors that a celestial body must first pass in order to be classified as a planet. In this case the planet must move around the sun or another celestial body through an orbit. This is what is usually referred to as Revolution. Most people tend to confuse Rotation with revolution. Rotation is the movement of a celestial body on an axis. The main difference being that revolution occurs around a celestial body while Rotation occurs on an axis.

  • Mass

The celestial body must have enough weight so as to measure its gravity and be able to acquire an equilibrium shape which is close to being round.

  • Has a clear environment

The planet should not have any objects close to it. This means that is should have achieved gravitational dominance. Due to this level of gravity the planet should have been able to pull close or repel other objects close to its.

These are the characteristics that made Pluto not be classified as a planet. It was able to meet the first two conditions but failed to have gravitational dominance.


We all live on this planet. We are all affected by the condition of our environment. We must all strive to make sure we are living in a safe, clean, and healthy planet. You will have to assess which method of garbage disposal suits the way you live.
DisposalTools recommends the InSinkErator Badger 5.

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