Pluto – Demoted

Poor Pluto. No, not that Pluto. Not Mickey Mouse’s dog (and how exactly does a mouse get a pet dog). I’m talking about the planet Pluto… actually the now former planet Pluto!

Capping years of intense debate, astronomers resolved Thursday to demote Pluto in a wholesale redefinition of planethood that is being billed as a victory of scientific reasoning over historic and cultural influences. But the decision is already being hotly debated.

I sort of understand. Pluto stands out from all the other kids in the neighborhood. It’s smaller, farther away from the Sun and has a skewed orbit that moves it across the orbit of Neptune and across the plane of the orbits of all the other planets.

Pluto - seen in happier timesWe haven’t heard the last in this debate. In a Lieberman/Lamont type declaration, some astronomers have questioned the result of the vote to dethrone Pluto because of the small number of voters!

I’m not 100% sure what difference having eight versus nine planets will have? Whatever scientific studies exist won’t stop because of a name change. But it will be strange to lose our funniest planetary name… well, next to Uranus.

5 thoughts on “Pluto – Demoted”

  1. In my normal ‘fact check’ mode, I pulled up a graphic and counted with my fingers. Since the article was about reclassifying some objects as planets, Ceres was included. Ceres is not a planet, but I still counted it.

    The entry has been corrected.

  2. Even though the scientists say Pluto is no longer a planet, I’m still going with it, simply because I grew up with nine planets. I like things to be kept the way it was.

  3. Yes, thank goodness we still have Uranus. A giant gas planet, just minding its own business. You stay classy Uranus. Unfortunately, this new found planet gossip won’t last because of the troublemaker in the Carribean. Ernesto, always a party crasher… every six years that is.

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