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Amused Muse

Inspiring dissent and debate and the love of dissonance

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Master's Degree holder, telecommuting from the hot tub, proud Darwinian Dawkobot, and pirate librarian belly-dancer bohemian secret agent scribe on a mission to rescue bloggers from the wholesome clutches of the pious backstabbing girl fridays of the world.



Thursday, August 24, 2006

Pluto: "You're Fired!"

More junk about less chunk in solar system trunk. (Counteroffensive underway! Stay tuned)

Pluto has been demoted from "planet" to "dwarf." Well, I'm sorry, Pluto. Love ya, and it's been a great run with you over the past seventy years, but that "is it--isn't it" so-called atmosphere of yours, which is probably really just ice that may or may not vaporize at perihelion (you wanna explain your indecision to the gas giants at this table?), along with your suspiciously comet-like orbit, and your--I don't want to say this, but hell, it's what we're all thinking--insufficient size has made astronomers conclude that you just can't play caboose to that mnemonic anymore. Pluto, you'll still make a great winter night viewing object in your new category. Best of luck to you. Pluto, you're fired.

And you, Charon, I'm sorry, as Pluto's "moon," you don't even qualify as a dwarf. Charon, you're fired!

6 Comments:

Blogger PiGuy said...

I guess size does matter. Either way, Pluto will always be like a planet in my heart.

August 24, 2006 1:19 PM  
Blogger Kristine said...

Hey, this is appropriate. *Snicker!*

I love Pluto too, but I think it’s time that he stopped chasing and barking after passing planets, and stayed in the yard with Mickey Moonlet.

Unless, of course, it were to be discovered that Pluto has MF snakes! That would change everything!

August 24, 2006 2:35 PM  
Blogger breakerslion said...

They're just jealous because they didn't discover any planets.

If you read resolution 5a, you're as big a geek as I am. You will also wonder if Earth qualifies as a planet. The junk in our orbit, not counting L5 and 6, just moves through a hell of a lot faster, being that we are so much closer to the Sun. I guess crap in cometary orbits doesn't count. There's a garbage truck on my street, so I guess my house isn't a house anymore until it leaves.

August 24, 2006 7:46 PM  
Blogger Kristine said...

I didn't read the actual resolutions until now. (I'm trying for that geek status, Breakerslion!) There was some discussion on the resolutions at Panda's Thumb, at which I suggested having major and "eccentric" planets and Nick Matzke suggested the "dwarf planet" solution. For everybody who wants to see it, the resolution language can be found here.

I'm not sure that I'm thrilled with this definition either ("has cleared the neighbourhood around its orbit"?). Oh, man, my house is sunk, too. Not only did we have a nasty storm tonight, complete with tree debris, but my poor house is quite small!

My poor little Pluto house. Earth losing its planet status would be a thorn in the side of the Disco Institute, though, with their crappy beloved "Privileged Planet" flick! That would be funny.

August 24, 2006 8:46 PM  
Blogger Kristine said...

Whoops, bad linky to Nick. Here.

August 24, 2006 10:21 PM  
Anonymous Ben said...

Some IAU members are now saying Pluto is still a planet, just like a 'toy poodle' is still a dog, its just a label saying what size planet it is.

If you want to see pics from the event
visit my page at :
http://freemars.org/mnfan/MN-Planetarium/2006-Pluto-Party/

If you want to watch the actual debate / vote you see it at :

http://www.astronomy2006.com/media-stream-archive.php
then scroll down to :
General Assembly Session 2, Final Planet Definition Resolution

--Ben
A planet is a planet, no matter how small

September 02, 2006 8:58 AM  

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