Thursday, August 24, 2006

pluto gets voted out of the solar system

so long, planet pluto. we hardly knew ya:

Astronomers agreed today to rewrite science books across the world by dropping Pluto from a list of planets in the solar system 76 years after it was discovered.

Pluto, the furthest of nine planets from the sun, was reduced to the status of "dwarf" from a fully-fledged planet by the International Astronomical Union in Prague.

Ceres, the largest asteroid in a belt of thousands that lies between Mars and Jupiter, and 2003 UB313, an object about the size of Pluto discovered in January 2005, were also added to the new dwarf class. More dwarf planets "are expected to by announced in the coming months and years," the union said.

poor pluto, stripped of its title, is now in a sense illegitimate... a bastard planet.

just last week, astronomers were debating a proposal that not only would have let pluto keep its title as a major planet, but would have promoted ceres, ub313 (aka xena the warrior pluton), and pluto's "moon" charon to full planethood as well. instead, all four get the shaft, but it must be hardest on pluto.

2 comments:

dj empirical said...

if Goofy's not a planet, then it's only fair Pluto not be one.

paul said...

bastard planet, that has a nice ring to it. certainly less offensive than dwarf planet...