Sunday, September 3, 2006

075 - Pluto - with Links!

 NASA Wants Pluto Back

1. NASA Wants Pluto Back
Well, I thought I was tired of hearing about Pluto, but I can't stop thinking about it. I don't really care if it is a planet of not, but tons of people do, and that is interesting to me. Of course, I can see why scientists, like these at NASA would care, but why the average person?

It turns out that the International Astronomical Union, which voted Pluto out, consists of a relatively small number of the world's astronomers. Others, that were not present at the vote, are calling into question the IAU's authority to make a decision of this magnitude.

Define Nearly Round

3. Define "Nearly Round"
What's more, the experts have been questioning the IAU's definition itself. The wording is criticized for being scientifically vague. Using this definition would call into question the planethood of most of the rest of the planets, including Earth.

A movement of laypeople has appeared to challenge the IAU's ruling. Many are just joking. Some seem really serious. Others just want to cash in. I think the main motivation is just the fear of change. They don't want the solar system they grew up with to be redefined. Some just seem worried about enormous piles of obsolete science textbooks.

Repeat in Reverse

5. Repeat in Reverse
Most of the planets have been known since before recorded time. We should remember: Pluto was only discovered 70 years ago. People were even more worried about it then than they are now. As I said, I don't really care what the final decision will be, but if Pluto was good enough for Charles and Ray Eames, then it is good enough for me.


No comments: