Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Interplanetary Wars

August 24 is the date set for the showdown in Prague. There are two camps in Astronomical circles. One camp believes that the definition of a planet should be "any star-orbiting object so large that its own gravity pulls in its rough edges and produces a near-perfect sphere." The other camp believes that it should be based upon size and Pluto would miss the cut.
Three new candidates have been put forward that fall in line with the gravity definition. It is thought that the vote is likely to go through. The smaller camp want Pluto struck off the list. Their dissent over the matter is because the gravity definition would leave the door open for hundreds of new planets in our solar system. The size definition camp believe these smaller star orbiting objects should be called Plutons.
Personally I am rather excited that the holiday options for space tourism have just broadened. However I not relish teaching 100 planets to my daughter. So I think I lean towards striking Pluto from the list. Siberia is cold enough without going to Pluto.


melodia povarova said...

I like Pluto. It's always been my favorite planet. It's not because I'm American, because I didn't even know that Pluto was discovered by America. I would be very sad if my favorite planet was made a non-planet. So I think it should be kept a planet. I think that all planets Pluto-size or smaller should be called Plutons. Then you could teach your daughter about the historical planet, Pluto, which represents all the Plutons, and otherwise only teach her the names of the other large planets. This reasoning isn't very scientific, but then, I'm not a very scientific person.

Pasha said...

Calling Pluto a Pluton would actually be to strike it from the planet list. I am inclined to agree, Pluto should be a Pluton NOT a planet.