Monday, September 04, 2006

Is Pluto a Planet?

By now you know that the few stragglers who remained at the end of a recent meeting of the International Astronomical Union of astronomers in Prague voted to decide that the that we call Pluto can no longer be considered a real planet. Their rationale is that there are so many more larger, recently discovered rocky bodies lurking around out there in space -- which are usually referred to as "minor planets" -- that it doesn't seem fair to allow Pluto special status.

I maintain that Pluto is a planet because we SAY it is, and that should be good enough. Don't these same astronomers still refer to the beginning of the universe as "The Big Bang" when anyone with a lick of sense knows that you can't hear anything in space?

I further suggest that we should rename The International Astronomical Union to be called "The International Union of Minor Scientists".

-- Your humble savant, Dalton Hammond

08Sep06 PS: I love the way the city fathers in Madison, Wisconsin handled this problem. -- D.H.

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