Tag Archives: pluto

Pluto Redux

 

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I had written an earlier post – The Demise of Pluto – lamenting its reduction in status to that of dwarf planet or plutoid.  In 2006, the International Astronomical Union demoted Pluto to its new status and we were left with eight rather than nine planets.  In my (humble) opinion, this is a clear travesty of justice.  The recent NASA New Horizons flyby mission and subsequent gathering of data have reinforced my efforts to return Pluto to its rightful place in our solar system.

With a nod to David Letterman and List of X, I have ten reasons to elevate Pluto back to planethood:

1.  Pluto has 5 moons – Charon, Kerberos, Styx, Nix and Hydra. Hey, that’s five times the number that Earth has. Mars only has two and Venus and Mercury have none. Plus the fact is that several of the moons can be mistaken for cosmological forms of Netsuke. Shown below, the one on the left is Nix or penis without testicles and the one on the right is Hydra or squatting doggie.

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2.  There have been no Donald Trump sightings on Pluto. [As an aside, The Donald is opposed to reinstating Pluto to planet status because he feels that many other undocumented dwarf planets would ask for planet status thus depriving the existing planets of their livelihoods. “I like my planets big and full of gas” said The Donald. “Those other things out there aren’t real planets.”]

3.  It is completely virgin territory, unscathed by war, pestilence, plague, terrorism and other acts of inhumanity. In other words, it is an ideal spot for humans to start war, pestilence, plague, terrorism and other acts of inhumanity.

4.  Even though it took the New Horizons space probe ten years to get from Earth to Pluto, when any of the above acts occur, news media will still report upon it live in seconds.

5.  It will provide innumerable job opportunities for land developers, exotic travel specialists, food franchisers (anyone for a Pluto dog?), doomsayers, soothsayers, creationists, revisionists, recidivists, spelunkers, debunkers, bikers, hikers, criers, liars, hair dyers, pied pipers, psychics, people of Area 51, people of Walmart, people in the witness protection program, planet-to-planet salesmen and – least of all – mimes.

6.  You won’t have to revise those sayings which you memorized to remember the order of the planets: Man Very Early Makes Jars Stand Up Nearly Perpendicular or My Very Educated Mother Just Showed Us Nine Planets.

7.  It’s a good place to park your in-laws. By the time they come back for a return visit, you’ll be dead.

8.  The use of dwarf planet is demeaning and degrading. The preferred term is volumetrically challenged.

9.  Restoration of Pluto to full planet status will increase the likelihood of the removal of the anal probing station placed there by aliens shortly after Pluto’s demotion to dwarf planet.  The station will return where it rightfully belongs – Uranus.

10.  Hundreds of organizations – from the U.S. Congress and the United Nations to the Triskaidekaphobia Illuminatus Society and the Astrology Club – can take credit for the rightful restoration of Pluto without costing any of them a dime.  It’s a win-win.

Once again, I ask you to join me in the effort to restore Pluto to planethood!

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The Demise of Pluto

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!