Monday, March 15, 2010

Planet, Schmanet, Janet!

Last Saturday, March 13th the Greenwood Space Travel Supply Company held their second annual "Pluto is a Planet" protest march in Seattle.

Pluto was demoted to the status of a dwarf planet at the IAU (International Astronomical Union) summit in Prague in 2006. This is an insult to one of my favorite planets and to a great hero of science, Clyde Tombaugh (pictured). Tombaugh discovered planet Pluto on Tuesday, Feb. 18th, 1930.

The IAU ruled in response to Michael Brown's discovery of Xena in 2003, that a planet is "a celestial body orbiting a star or stellar remnant that is massive enough to be redounded by its own gravity, is not massive enough to cause thermonuclear fusion, and has cleared its neighboring region of planetesimals."


I'm not a scientist, but doesn't that mean that Uranus Neptune is not planet, since it hasn't cleared Pluto out of its neighboring region? (Pluto and Uranus's Neptune's orbits cross each other, as a matter of fact.)

Take that, IAU jerkwads!

Visit the Greenwood Space Travel Supply Company site for all sorts of angry, Pluto- related schwag. Wear your "Pluto is a Planet," T - shirt with pride.

This injustice cannot stand, man.

(Hat tip to Snickerdoodle, AKA Dr. Brent Zenobia - super genius.)

Update/Correction: Of course, Pluto crosses Neptune's orbit, not Uranus's. But it is so much more fun to type and say: "Uranus, Uranus, Uranus!" (Snickerdoodle saves the day again.)

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