Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Downsizing? Supersizing? Ah, the heck with it...

Apparently, the draft resolution I mentioned the other day has been received with all they joy and good cheer that Osama bin Laden might expect if he were to drop in on the White House for a social call.

You may remember that in my first post on the subject, I said:

If it were up to me, I'd re-classify Pluto as a Kuiper Belt object. It has a lot more in common in terms of both composition and orbital elements with that group than it does with any planet. To be a planet, an object really has to have formed within the star's major accretion disk, and I'm not sure that applies to the KBOs.

Apparently, a Uruguayan astronomer by the name of Julio Angel Fernandez used logic like this to send the new proposal off with a shot of grape. Rather more than a shot of grape, actually; after a rebellion within the orbital mechanics community, the new proposal bore a striking resemblance to Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow after the Feds ran out of ammo.

Didn't I say that this question was good for an instant riot? Just add astronomers and stir...

The thing that kind of stinks about this is that we have a brand-new space probe sailing on its way to something that might not be a planet anymore by the time it gets there ... which is just as well. Somebody needed to get close-up observations of Pluto before its atmosphere froze, anyway.

It's still worth doing, even if Pluto gets demoted. Besides, the bloody thing's already on the way. It's not like we can haul it back in.

No comments: