Afternoon Inquisition 10.25
Driving home the other day, listening to Aesop Rock’s lament of the IAU’s August 2006 decision to demote Pluto, (a fun and geeky song titled, fittingly, “Bring Back Pluto”) I wondered:
Are we over Pluto? Nobody talks about it anymore. Despite the cultural nostalgia associated with it, I pretty much understood and agreed with the decision from the beginning, but are there some of you out there secretly holding out hope that they will bring it back? Now’s your chance to exorcise your demons, kids.
Pluto = meh
“My Very Elegant Mother Just Sat Upon Nine.” Nine what??? Voids in space? It makes no sense unless they bring Pluto back.
@Chew: My Very Elegant Mother Just Sat Upon Nachos
@slxpluvs: Agreed. Who cares? It’s still there.
I like that we demoted Pluto just because it gives me another way to fuck with astrologists.
I wrote a modest article about this for my very-post modernist university. (http://trentarthur.ca/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=822&Itemid=48)
The comments section were….kinda disapointing.
Good riddance. It was a over-glorified rock with a goofy name and a crooked orbit, anyway.
If you want Pluto to be a planet, then I demand you give Ceres that honour too.
“Nobody talks about it anymore?”
Oh, Carrie, Carrie!
Pluto, you will always be a planet as far as I’m concerned. I was raised to believe that Pluto was a planet and whatever I bought into as a child I will certainly not re-examine as an adult! Crazy scientists with their shifty sciency science.
Changing Pluto’s definition back to a planet because of cultural nostalgia and public support, when there isn’t a compelling scientific reason is stupid and pointless.
Also see ‘Traditional Marriage” or “Proposition 8”
Niel Tyson said he still gets hate mail from elementary school children over Pluto’s “demotion”.
As for me, not that big a deal, so I guess I’m over it.
The downside to it is that we haven’t found extraterrestrial life yet, and we have already given them out of date information.
@AndrÃ©s Diplotti: And not just on the Pioneer spacecrafts either, how embarrassing!
Hopefully, in 50,000 years we’ll receive a reply from M13 and they’ll be kind enough to give us a definition for the word planet.
@Brianâ€™s A Wild Downer: I’m not sure astrologers are sure that we don’t live in a Ptolemian geocentric universe anyway, so I’m not sure they know what’s going on in the 21st century to begin with.
Amazing! Just before I read this blog entry I lined up Theo Travis’s The Relegation of Pluto to play on my jazz programme tomorrow.
So it seems Carl Jung was right after all. All coincidences are meaningful, even the ones that aren’t.
Let’s rename it “Scientologo” and send said believers to their new home.
Pluto: I’m a what now?
IAU: Dwarf planet.
Pluto: You mean like Ceres and Xena and those others.
IAU: Xena’s official name is Eris and yes, you are one of them.
Pluto: Won’t Gabrielle be upset.
IAU: Who cares? She’s a sidekick.
Pluto: So I’m a dwarf planet?
Pluto: Couldn’t I just be petite?
IAU: Ah, no – dwarf it is.
Pluto: It’s because I’m small, isn’t it?
IAU: Partly, but it isn’t like you have cleared your neighborhood and have you seen your orbit?
Pluto: What’s wrong with my orbit?
IAU: If it were anymore eccentric, you’d be a comet.
Pluto: No reason to get nasty.
IAU: You asked.
Pluto: So, are you still getting death threats? Because I wouldn’t want anything to happen to you. I mean just because maybe your replacement would reconsider my case and make me a planet again … I certainly try to dissuade anyone from anything crazy. By the way, I wouldn’t eat any tacos in the near future, it could be bad for your health … or was it pizza pockets … maybe just don’t eat anything.
IAU: Okay, okay. You can be a planet.
(And that is why you don’t mess with something named for the God of the Underworld …)
@Mark Mulkerin: COTW potential, there…
@The Bad Astronomer: wow. yeah. you got me there. idiot prize of the week goes to me :p
you know i love you, right?
One thing I just noticed – there are now two Inquisitions 10.25.
Ack – my bad. One was quickies and the other Inquisition.
*sigh* Must remember to engage brain before putting mouth (fingers) into gear :P
Given the choice between 8 planets (known as of now) and the 20+ likely to happen if the rules count Pluto as one, my inner elementary school kid votes 8. The one thing we don’t need in our schools is making the rote memorization lists even longer!
On the other hand, teaching kids some serious mnemonics would make all manner of things possible.
I personally could care less, but I still say that it is an Illuminati/ textbook author conspiracy to make money for the parties.
I’ll go out on a limb and say that establishing that only objects that are big enough and have cleared their orbit can be planets is elitist.
I love you Pluto, and there will always be a soft spot in my heart for you, but when it comes to planets, size does matter, and you just don’t measure up. It’s not you, it’s me. I’m the one with the problem and demands that you just can’t meet. I’m the one who can’t cope with the eccentricities of your orbit. You deserve someone better, someone who will love you for what you are, not someone who wants you to be a planet. I love you Pluto, but we just can’t make it work.
…By the way, I’m seeing Jupiter now.
@LOLkate: Jupiter? Really? That star wannabe who’s full of gas? Puhleeze!
Yeah, dude. Jupiter comes with a lot of baggage. Are you sure you can afford to help take care of 60-something satellites?
pluto is still a planet. period. forget science and its pesky logic and observation and conferences. stick to your principles!
haha, although the little girl in me does get nostalgic for pluto. poor little pluto, moping around and depressed about his demotion. but the realist in me realizes that there would then have to be like two dozen new planets if pluto was still considered a planet….haha, can you imagine trying to name all of those…and remember them?
@livingparadox27: So Pluto was demoted for the sake of not having to remember more planet names? I say make em all “planets”. Remembering all the names would separate the nerdy from the wannabes.
I’m amused that so many see Pluto’s ‘dwarf planet’ status as a demotion. It’s not as if there’s any empirical reason to believe a regular planet is somehow better than a dwarf planet.
The alternative – that it’s a ‘Plutino’ is also not a demotion.
I think the motive for changing Pluto’s status is sound, and I agree that Pluto should be a dwarf planet and a Plutino – not a normal planet. However – I think the definition of planet will take a few more tries to make it really useful. The current one has a number of problems which Phil has blogged about.
I don’t like the current definition, though. If Earth was in Pluto’s orbit, it wouldn’t be a planet because of the large volume of space that needed clearing up. Besides, it doesn’t matter whether there would be too much planets to memorize. Having too much classification to record don’t make biologists exclude species.
We went to a concert this weekend and Vance Gilbert had a new song dedicated to Pluto:
I went to see Pluto and all I have is this empty collar and leash. :'(
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