American astronomer Clyde Tombaugh discovered Pluto in 1930. From its discovery in 1930 until 2006, Pluto was classified as a planet. Every science textbook I ever studied listed nine planets, with Pluto as the ninth. Starting in the late 1970s, Pluto’s status as a major planet began to be questioned and in the late 20th and early 21st century, many objects similar to Pluto were discovered in the outer Solar System. On August 24, 2006, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) defined what it meant to be a planet. This definition excluded Pluto as a planet and added it as a member of the new category “dwarf planet.” So much for all those textbooks.
Pluto’s orbit is more eccentric and more tilted (inclined) than any other remaining planet, taking 248.8 years to make one trip around the Sun. Aren’t a lot of us just like poor Pluto, a bit eccentric, a little tilted and taking forever to get anywhere? We were once full blown planets but are now downgraded to the status of “Plutoids.”
You may think of this as an isolated and insignificant occurrence. I see it as more sinister and far reaching with momentous repercussions.
For example, will the element Plutonium (#95 in the Periodic Chart of the Elements) become a near element? Plutonium will no longer sit between Neptunium (#94) and Americum (#96) in the Periodic Chart but be forced to move just off the west coast of #87 Francium. Plutonium will stop being used for making nuclear devices and instead become only a primary component of cherry bombs.
Mickey Mouse will give up his dog Pluto and replace him with an exotic bred Peruvian Inca Orchid dog named Alvaro. Pluto will roam the streets of Los Angeles, homeless and hungry, until he gets picked up by the animal shelter and becomes one of those sad and dreadful pictures in the ASPCA commercials.
Pluto, king of the underworld, will be deposed. Pluto was the Roman god of the underworld and the judge of the dead. Pluto was originally considered by the Romans as the giver of gold, silver, and other subterranean substances. Hereafter Pluto will be reinstated as the Marquis of Mining and will run a pawnshop in Paradise, Arizona.
There will be a change to Plutonic Theory, the idea that the earth was formed due to intense heat in the earth and which stems from Pluto. Plutonic Theory will be replaced by Plutoid Theory, the idea that the earth was formed by lukewarm heat, the kind you would get from running a heat pump in the dead of winter in North Dakota.
Before other dire consequences occur, join me in restoring Pluto to planethood!