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Much Ado About Pluto

August 25, 2006

A co-worker was distraught yesterday over the news that Pluto lost its planetary status, which is really not true. It’s still a planet, just a different class of planet than Earth. Nevertheless, my co-workers was upset, and he is not the only one. I do not understand the big uproar about this downgrade. It’s not like Pluto suddenly lost its Constitutional rights or something, and it’s not like any of us will ever visit Pluto. It would be a different story if, say, somebody decided that Alaska is no longer a state. Yes, textbooks will have to be re-written and children will need to be re-taught, but does that justify all the fuss? Heck, even Disney jumped into the mix. Since when did the world care so much about a chunk of ice floating light years away from Earth?

Categories: News of Note
  1. August 25, 2006 at 4:09 pm

    We all grew up with the 9 planets. The Houston Museum of Natural History has a lovely scale diagram embedded in the sidwalk outside the front doors (I bet you never even noticed). Now, all of those diagrams, textbooks and various thousands of other places where Pluto had made an appearance will place those of us who grew up with Pluto in the same category as people who thought the Earth was flat. Our knowledge is a sham. It’s not a planet we MIGHT go to, it’s a useless hunk of space debris.

    I, for one, shall miss the familiarity of believing our solar system has 9 planets. Even if one of the planets was runty and insignificant. Sort of the Ringo Starr of the Solar System.

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