Thursday, August 24, 2006

Pluto faces relegation

Pluto is just not up with the big guys. This week, scientists at the International Astronomical Union's shindig in Prauge decided Pluto belongs in a new category and have subsequently labelled it a dwarf planet.

The reason? Last year a world larger than Pluto was detected -UB313, nicknamed "Xena". Concern arose that there would be a few too many so-called planets for everyone to get their heads around.

Consequently the International Astronomical Union's nomenclature group have redefined a planet as being a body that orbits the Sun, is big enough for its own gravity to compact it into a ball and has a clear neighborhood around its orbit, meaning it is not surrounded by objects of similar size and characteristics. The last bit about the neighborhood is what leaves Pluto out in the cold with the other dwarf planets.

However, a backlash has been unleashed and some scientists have labelled the redefinition "sloppy science". Pluto's fans are also pretty unimpressed with relegation.

5 Comments:

At 10:15 am, Blogger Trundlechick said...

as a big fan of pluto 'the ninth planet' i am pretty distressed about the biggism that is occurring - surely in this world of politically correct decision making, if there is no world for golliwogs there SHOULD ALWAYS be room for Pluto, the little planet who tried....

 
At 10:43 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

is this really progress to remove Pluto my god next thingthey'll tell us the world really is flat!!!!!!!!!!!!

 
At 11:44 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How can they do this??What are they trying to do rewrite history and the world of discovery???

 
At 7:21 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok, so Pluto doesn't have a clear neighbourhood around its orbit. Well neither does Neptune! If we have to choose which one gets to keep offical planet status, then I vote for the little guy!

 
At 10:15 pm, Blogger writer_reader said...

I heard an interview with the widow of the man who identified Pluto. She was glad he did not live to see this day although she sad that he would have understood the decision from a scientific point of view

 

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