Outrage of the Day: Flip Flopping Astronomers Dump Pluto

The International Astronomical Union has delcared Pluto (above left) is no longer a planet. This looks like a real Mickey Mouse operation to me. Pluto has been demoted to the status of a dwarf planet, whcih sounds like a Dopey decision. Just last week they were going to keep Pluto:

The decision at a conference of 2,500 astronomers from 75 countries was a dramatic shift from just a week ago, when the group’s leaders floated a proposal that would have reaffirmed Pluto’s planetary status and made planets of its largest moon and two other objects.

That plan proved highly unpopular, splitting astronomers into factions and triggering days of sometimes combative debate that led to Pluto’s undoing.

I guess that also blows my hopes to get a Goofy Planet.

Update: Left and Right are united in defending Pluto. Blue Crab Boulevard also protests.

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6 Comments

  1. 1
    kj says:

    A sad day for scientists… Pluto demoted, Evolution major is no longer on the list of federal grants for low-income students, and FarScape, I mean, Stargate, cancelled. 🙁

  2. 2
    David says:

    I say if it’s round under it’s own gravity, it’s a planet. And if that means a thousand planets, so be it. At least it will be an easy, non-arbitrary standard for once.

  3. 3
    Paul Decelles says:

    Sorry I just can’t get outraged about this controversy. It amounts to a disagreement between what in taxonomy are called lumpers vs splitters. We have known for a long time that Pluto was unusual for a planet. By the way in my surfing on this topic I found that the asteroid Ceres at one time was classed as a planet and ‘demoted’, so there is really nothing new here.

  4. 4
    Ron Chusid says:

    Paul,

    Easy for you to say. You don’t have a personal relationship with Pluto. I visit Pluto every year. I have his autograph. I have tons of pictures of him. I’ve had several meals with him. I take this slight on Pluto very seriously!

    I don’t know this Ceres. His demotion doesn’t matter to me.

  5. 5
    Dave from Princeton says:

    Ron, does he get demoted at Disney world now too? Will poor Pluto end up in It’s a Small World? If so, don’t let battlebob know or I fear for Pluto’s safety.

  6. 6
    Ron Chusid says:

    Dave,

    As of now I’m not planning to go to Walt Disney World until January (although having an Annual Pass, who knows if I’ll find an excuse to go earler). I’ll check out Pluto’s status when I get there.

    It would be sort of fun to go now and get Pluto to pose with my blog post and/or a newspaper article on his demotion. It would be even better if I could get a couple of the dwarfs in the picture but off hand I can’t think of any character meals which mix Pluto with any dwarfs.

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