Sunday, August 10, 2008

Leading Astronomers Want the Plutoid to be Reinstated as a Planet

Why is this thing such an issue?

It seems that there are "leading astronomers" that want Pluto to be reclassified at a planet.

Although the spherical rocky body can tick most attributes of being a "planet," the IAU pointed out that Pluto is too small to be capable of gravitationally clearing its own orbit (plus it periodically crosses the path of Neptune's orbit); it should therefore be called a "dwarf planet." Back in June however, the IAU gloriously announced that Pluto should be now be re-classified as a "Plutoid" and any other Pluto-like planets should follow suit. But on Thursday, at a major conference in Maryland, leading astronomers will refute the Plutoid classification saying the IAU re-naming is confusing and unworkable…

I had mentioned this earlier when the issue of Pluto being "demoted" from a planet first came up. I mean, you can call it a "cow" and the universe would not have cared, because it doesn't change any of the physics! I'm not saying that proper categorization would not be useful for us humans in terms of clarity, but honestly, the amount of time, effort, and publicity surrounding something as SUPERFICIAL as this has been completely disproportionate to the usefulness of the science. This is the "international space station" of the astronomy world, where a lot of money/effort has been put in, with very little science and usefulness coming out.


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