Thursday, August 24, 2006

Pluto gets dwarfed.

It would appear that several love poems, and certainly some new age cults of nature have just been ruined. References, prayers, and odes to the nine planets are officially passe because Pluto has been demoted and is now reclassified as a Dwarf Planet. The NY Times' description makes the whole proceeding sound almost like a political negotiation:
The decision at a conference of 2,500 astronomers from 75 countries was a dramatic shift from just a week ago, when the group's leaders floated a proposal that would have reaffirmed Pluto's planetary status and made planets of its largest moon and two other objects.... That plan proved highly unpopular, splitting astronomers into factions and triggering days of sometimes combative debate that led to Pluto's undoing.
Certainly, some astronomy buffs will mourn Pluto's passing, but I'm sure second graders everywhere are breathing a sigh of relief--eight planets are a lot easier to memorize than twelve.


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