And then there were 8 (goodbye pluto!)
august 28, 2006
Current mood: nostalgic
Category: News and Politics
I'm already feeling a nostalgic twinge when running through the list of planets... My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nine Pizza....uh oh! Scientists meeting in Prague last week have stripped Pluto of its planet status...citing the decision as "a triumph of science over sentiment"...denigrating it to the title of "dwarf planet". Imagine the ramifications: All planet-related bulletin board deco. will go 80% off at Education Stores world-wide, All wire hanger mobiles will swerve crazily askew without Pluto to balance things out, All acronyms for memorization of the planets will have to be...gasp...altered! I may not recover. However - The World Book Encyclopedia, who was previous to the decision, at a standstill to print their 2007 edition, can now move forward without pluto included the rank of planets.
Apparently the three qualifiers for a body to be considered a planet are: 1.) it must orbit the sun; 2) it must be big enough for gravity to squash it into a ball (that's a direct quote from the folks at the NYTimes for everyone's edification - apparantly squash is technical enough for print now!) and 3) it must have cleared its neighbors out of its orbit.
The only caveat to be considered a "dwarf planet"? It's Round.
How sad for Pluto.