Friday, March 06, 2009

It Depends Where You're Standing

From its discovery in 1930 until 2006, Pluto was considered to be a planet; then the International Astronomical Union downgraded it to the status of minor or dwarf planet, causing an all-mighty ruckus. Now, politicians in the state of Illinois have decided enough is enough, and want to reinstate it as a planet - and have declared 13 March 'Pluto Day'. This isn't as crazy as declaring Pi to be exactly equal to 3; Pluto was discovered by Clyde Tombaugh, who was born in Illinois. Insult Pluto; you insult all of Illinois.


Blogger Laurel Kornfeld said...

Kudos to Illinois for being smarter than the PhDs at the International Astronomical Union. Only four percent voted on the demotion, and most are not planetary scientists. Their decision was immediately rejected by hundreds of professional astronomers led by Dr. Alan Stern, Principal Investigator of NASA's New Horizons mission to Pluto. Many scientists and lay people are working to overturn the demotion or are ignoring it entirely, especially since the IAU's resolution that dwarf planets are not planets at all makes no sense. Pluto is a planet. Visit , a site organized by the same person who lobbied the Illinois Senate to pass this resolution, for contact information to email the IAU and its president, asking them to reopen the planet definition issue at this summer's General Assembly.

March 07, 2009 6:29 am  

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