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Thread: Pluto Demoted!

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    Pluto Demoted!

    Pluto demoted, no longer considered a true planet
    David Perlman, Chronicle Science Editor
    Thursday, August 24, 2006

    (08-24) 08:21 PDT -- Pluto was shafted by the world's astronomers today, demoted to the lowly status of "dwarf planet" and leaving the solar system with its original eight true planets plus countless other objects that must now be called "small solar system bodies."

    After more than two years of controversy that started when astronomer Mike Brown of Caltech announced his team had discovered a "10th planet" and was finding many more far out in the icy region billions of miles beyond the sun where comets are born, the International Astronomical Union voted a set of rules defining just what a planet is and what it's not.

    Delegates to the Union meeting in Prague and representing 9,000 members decided that everything in the heavens that's massive enough for its own gravity to keep it roughly round is henceforth officially a planet.

    Ceres, round and firm and fully packed, is the largest object in the asteroid belt where thousands of rocky chunks mostly orbit the sun between Mars and Jupiter, and many astronomers wanted to call it a full-fledged planet. But now it's only a dwarf planet, the IAU decided.

    And Pluto's moon Charon, which the astronomers had first decided to link to Pluto and call a "double planet," also joined the lowly status of dwarf planet.

    And so do all the objects Brown's team discovered -- the ones with unofficial names like Xena and Sedna and Quaoar -- they're all "dwarf planets" now, too.

    Said Brown in a television interview with reporters from his office at Caltech in Pasadena:

    "Scientifically, it's the right decision, it's sensible, it's acceptable and it's streamlined. There may be a lot of gnashing and wailing because Pluto is demoted, but Pluto overwhelmingly is not a planet, and it was a mistake to call it one when it was discovered more than 75 years ago."

    In other celestail news, scientist are now debating whether Mars is the red planet or would be better classified as the carmine planet
    Molly Weasley makes Chuck Norris eat his vegetables.

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    FBI Special Agent Coleen Rowley

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    Good news!

    Ex-Planet Gets A Morale Boost In Madison
    Council Approved Tongue-In-Cheek Resolution


    POSTED: 10:16 pm CDT September 5, 2006

    MADISON, Wis. -- At last, some good news for Pluto.
    After being drummed out of the planet ranks last month, Pluto got a boost Tuesday night, as the City Council approved a tongue-in-cheek resolution proclaiming it "Madison's ninth planet."

    Alderman Kenneth Golden, who offered the resolution, said Pluto's demotion amounted to "massive discrimination" and was offensive in a tolerant city like Madison.

    His resolution said downgrading Pluto to "dwarf" status due to its small size and elliptical orbit showed a lack of tolerance toward diverse planets and those "pursuing different lifestyles."

    It passed without a dissenting vote, although several council members abstained from voting.
    Molly Weasley makes Chuck Norris eat his vegetables.

    Do not puff, shade, skew, tailor, firm up, stretch, massage,
    or otherwise distort statements of fact.
    FBI Special Agent Coleen Rowley

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    Poor Pluto. No one ever appreciates you.


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    Molly Weasley makes Chuck Norris eat his vegetables.

    Do not puff, shade, skew, tailor, firm up, stretch, massage,
    or otherwise distort statements of fact.
    FBI Special Agent Coleen Rowley

 

 

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