26/Aug/2006 – Pluto, What Are You?   7 comments

Pluto—A Planet No More

Does it matter what they call it?

Image of Pluto and its moon Charon

Pluto and its moon Charon.

You already may have heard that Pluto has been reclassified and is no longer considered a planet.

“Pluto, beloved by some as a cosmic underdog but scorned by astronomers who considered it too dinky and distant, was unceremoniously stripped of its status as a planet Thursday.”
Yahoo! News

This news item is hardly as tragic as some others, but it made me a little melancholy, nonetheless. Astronomy was one of my childhood interests and I feel a sense of loss, I suppose. Muted, but there.

It seemeed that a haiku might be in order:

Stripped of planethood.
Cold and distant, but unchanged.
Pluto—it’s still there.

In deciding what to do with Pluto’s classification, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Chairman of the Board of The Planetary Society, said, “The more we learned about Pluto, the more it did not fit any reasonable classification scheme that applied to the other planets.”

I don’t doubt it. Yet, I like the way Pluto’s discoverer, the late Clyde Tombaugh, put it: “It’s there. Whatever it is. It is there.”


Posted Saturday, August 26, 2006 by Grant in Random

7 responses to “26/Aug/2006 – Pluto, What Are You?

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  1. i heard this and i think it’s very stupid to do that, they’re also planning on having moons as planets.. give me a break… i think they dont have anything better to do now

  2. G, it is not really hard science, this naming and renaming based on defination and show of hands. Pluto won’t mind (here giving Pluto a mind .. ooh dear), it is still one heavanly body, happily rolling around it’s course, shadowed by Neptune or not. I’ll have a hard time though explaining to Rez, the difference, between “classical planets” and “dwarf planets”.

    Hope your weekend is progressing nicely G.

  3. wow! heard of it too….its like my 10 years of elem and high school finally got a twist of its learnings of heavenly bodies…yah its sad….but its still there…just re-classified…they cant change that….well perhaps they better explore and examine planet Xena too….

  4. Thanks for the consolation, dear friends.

    I’m not really down about this. We need to embrace change, since it is life’s only certainty.

  5. I feel sorry for Pluto. ;-(

    Though it’s an odd type sadness. It’s lke finding out you’re adopted or something…

    What happens to Roman Mythology? OMG!

  6. ®Eggie, I know. I felt a weird sense of loss, but not deep or tragic. Like returning to a childhood playground and finding that it’s been closed.

  7. Exactly my friend! Exactly!


    Made my own post about it and then returned here to read your comment reply… Wow!

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