Friday, August 25, 2006


The Fun Takers

Poor old Pluto.

Now Millennium’s expounded on the subject again, I can add my own gripe against the miserable International Astronomical Union, who yesterday voted to revoke Pluto’s status as a planet. We now only have eight planets in our solar system, though they’ve bottled it slightly and called Pluto and others ‘dwarf planets’, or ‘we’re too craven to stick up for taking away the word completely even though that’s what we mean’. This was, apparently, after the nomenclature ‘pluton’ was found already to mean something geological, which doesn’t inspire confidence in the IAU’s ability to do their homework.

It seems what did for Pluto is that, elliptically crossing Neptune’s orbit, it’s not the main planet in its own orbit, and they’ve arbitrarily decided that one’s the limit. What about twin planets that spin around each other as well as a sun, eh? I’ve read enough sci-fi to know that they sound jolly nearly plausible.

Apparently one of the reasons they’ve created a definition to exclude Pluto is that otherwise, our solar system might eventually end up with ‘more than fifty planets’. Well, gosh. So on two counts, the Solar System is now an exclusive club with a limited number of places, rather than one that allows entrance by merit and measuring and things, eh?

More importantly, has no-one told them that it’s fun to add more things on to a mobile, but glum to have to take them off?

Still, it means Holst is up to date again.

Oh come on, there's nothing stopping you putting asteroids and TNOs on your mobile.

But I would sooner recommend putting the Moon, Ganymede, Callisto, Europa, Io, Titan and Triton on your mobile, as they are all bigger and probably more interesting than Pluto.
I wonder when Mr Cameron will take up the issue of our galaxy being filled up with all these impostor new planets, gobbling up the sunlight and encroaching on our open spaces in space? I bet you the EU hasn't set proper limits on the number of planets allowed in our galaxy.
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