Jul 06

Why Not Wait Til The Nice Lady Dies

FT + Proven By Science7 comments • 741 views

The little girl who named Pluto is still alive, and in her eighties. So maybe the guys in New York at the Hayden Planetarium who want to strip Pluto of its planetary status should wait a couple of years until she’s dead.

 (Actually according to that link, the word Planet itself just isn’t useful anymore!)


  1. 1
    Martin Skidmore on 25 Jul 2006 #

    The Hayden Planetarium don’t get to decide! There has been much debate in the International Astronomical Union about this for ages, and we are promised an authoritative new definition of the word ‘planet’ this September. I think they are trying for one that maintains the status quo as much as possible, which indeed tells you something about the scientific value of the term these days. Front-runner, I believe, is something like ‘Body orbiting a star, more or less spherical because of gravity, larger than the sum of all other bodies in a similar orbit’.

  2. 2
    Alan on 25 Jul 2006 #

    Wouldn’t “larger than the sum of all other bodies in a similar orbit” be enought o knock out Pluto these days?

  3. 3
    Pete Baran on 25 Jul 2006 #

    Clearly not. Anyway, their reasons why the sun is not a planet doesn’t convince me.

  4. 4
    Alan on 25 Jul 2006 #


    says of a similar clause (“dominant in its immediate neighborbood”) that such “definition would leave only eight planets in our solar system, relegating Pluto to the status of minor planet.”

  5. 5
    Pete Baran on 25 Jul 2006 #

    “…and cartoon dog”. And I think it might be the latter that’s slowing them down. Disnety is notoriously litigious.

  6. 6
    pˆnk s lord sükråt cunctør on 25 Jul 2006 #

    none of this would be a problem if they’d gone with her first suggestion = GOOFY

  7. 7
    Pete Baran on 25 Jul 2006 #

    That sure is one goofy planet…

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