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Pity Poor Pluto

August 31st, 2006

I realize that I’m coming to this topic rather late due to being on vacation when Pluto received the big smackdown, but I wanted to take a moment to mourn the passing of the former ninth planet of our solar system.

When I initially heard that scientists were considering adding several new planets to the nine we’ve known and memorized since the 1930s, I was excited, if only because I had an irrational hope that they’d name the tenth one Mondas. (I still think they oughta stick with the name “Xena” for 2003 UB313. Hey, we name planets after mythological characters, right?)

Unfortunately, it soon became apparent that adding the likes of Xena, Mondas and Quaoar to the solar system would open the interplanetary tollbooth to hundreds of wanna-bes, leading to increasingly-lengthier mnemonic devices to be taught in classrooms. And since Pluto is smaller than Xena, it had to go.

Vic feels that Pluto oughta be “grandfathered” in, and I agree. Scientifically, Pluto may no longer be a “major” planet, but it remains one in my heart. Long may you eccentricly orbit beyond the ecliptic. You can’t help it that you were born just a little bit odd.

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