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Pluto demoted, planet goes mad!

Good morning John,

The Pluto fiasco continues! This week science and technology website Slashdot brings us the news [1] that a group of astronomers want the definition of a dwarf planet changed, and 300 astronomers have signed a petition saying that they won’t use the new definition, which effectively means we have one set of astronomers who think Pluto is a planet, and another set who don’t.

Pluto might not be out of the solar system just yet…I pity the poor teachers who have to decide whether or not to include Pluto in solar system projects.

Have a great morning John

Samuel Gordon-Stewart

On 8/27/06, Samuel Gordon-Stewart <smoothwallsamuel@gmail.com [2]> wrote:

Good morning John,

During the night I was thinking about the demotion of Pluto from planetary status…it just seems silly that with a single vote of a few astronomers we can change something as significant as the number of planets in the solar system. Just think about how many school projects have been rendered incorrect overnight by this vote…and the sheer volume of textbooks that will need to be rewritten.

It’s also amazing how much press coverage this is getting…Google have recorded 1491 news story on the Internet about Pluto’s demotion, and counting…and it seems that half of those stories are about NASA officials annoyed at the decision, or a controversy about the number of astronomers in attendance for the vote.

The headlines are amusing too…"World mourns poor Pluto’s plight [3]", "Is 8 enough? Reaction mixed to Pluto’s demotion [4]", " Farewell, Pluto we thought the world of you [5]", " Pluto’s demotion creates galactic uproar [6]", "
", "Left out in the cold [7]", " Pluto still has its bright side [8]", " Family of astronomer saddened by Pluto demotion [9]"

Perhaps we should go out and measure the planet and see how big it is rather than guessing with telescopes…can I borrow your tape measure John?

I’m going to go and have another giggle to myself about this fiasco….I’m just waiting for the rest of the Solar System to vote us out of the solar system for being planetist, or sizeist, or otherwise naughty is some way.

Have a great week John,


Samuel Gordon-Stewart

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#1 Comment By John B1_B5 On September 2, 2006 @ 7:45 am

Speaking of the solar system, that was an interesting segment on Stateline last night about Honeysuckle Creek Tracking Station and the missing moon landing tape.

#2 Comment By Chuck A. Spear On September 2, 2006 @ 3:45 pm

Wonko says hi Samuel and good on you.