Monday, August 21, 2006

Save Pluto

Hot off the press at the Johns Hopkins Gazette, apparently there is a raging debate on whether Pluto is actually a planet. I know I have been off for a while, but who knew that this debate would be raging across the United States.
That debate may finally end next week, when members of the International Astronomical Union meeting in Prague will vote on a formal definition of the word "planet." According to the proposed definition, a planet is any star-orbiting object with enough mass for its own gravitational force to pull it into the shape of a ball. Furthermore, the object must orbit a star, without being a star itself.
I don't know about you, but I really think that Pluto is a dog and not a planet. It's pretty apparent to me, but listen to Professor Richard Henry:
I think the notion that Pluto is a planet is absurd. When it was initially discovered, it was thought to be vastly more massive than it turned out to be. Its orbit is radically different from that of all the other planets. Down with Pluto is what I say!
So, I ask you to join me in this crusade. Call your senator and congressman today. Tell all your friends and neighbors. The future of the universe is at stake here. Save Pluto! *LOL*

24 comments:

Dinah said...

This is a medical blog?
And actually, I think this is a serious matter you're making fun of, I wasn't pleased to hear that my view of the universe is being rocked.
And why do you get the JH Gazette?

Dr. A said...

The JH Gazette came in the mail today along with my latest issues of the New England Journal of Medicine, Mad Magazine, and the National Inquirer. BTW, I always did want to rock your world. *grin*

Sarebear said...

Hey, Dr. A., they are also going to vote on whether there's actually 12 planets in our solar system. Guess if Pluto is a planet they want to make its moon one, too, as they want to define a moon as being farther different in size than those two are from each other.

Ceres, an asteroid, will also be one of the 12, and then "Xena", out beyond Pluto, would be one too . . .

Or did they already vote in this? I forget.

Course, I thought there were THREE potential planetary objects beyond Pluto, one of which is inexplicably cigar-shaped (It's large enough it should be sphere-shaped . . . .) Anyone ever read Rama? Lol.

. . . . If you save Pluto, you potentially condemn its moon to planethood!

And then there's the news that they've just proved the existence of dark matter . . . which doesn't interact with itself or anything else, except via it's gravitational force. Sounds made up, to me. (To quote a movie line, name that movie and you get to be special!)

Woops. A not so closet astronomy lover, here.

It's me, T.J. said...

I'm against anything that is different from what I have already learned in school.

If what has been hard-wired into my brain has to be yanked out and then re-loaded...

Well, let's just say that I don't think it will be a pretty sight to see this 48 year old brain of mine being "re-booted".

Heck... what if it's painful too?

later...

wolfbaby said...

oHHH lord my brain hurts.. my whole family has been facinated with this subject.....let me know what they decide when it's all said and done ok...

Dr. A said...

Sarebear -- Whoa! Thanks for all the info. I'm glad that the astronomy circles are buzzing about this debate. Don't get me wrong, I'm fascinated by anything that has to do with space and planets, etc. It's just when people start talking about dark matter and the definition of a planet, that's where I get lost fast.

Dinah said...

Oh my. Yes, I knew the JH Gazette came in your mail. I haven't seen any news stands where it lies there next to People or Seventeen. I did, however, assume that it only goes to people who have some connection to Hopkins, not the entire random medical community. Maybe I'm wrong. If it weren't for the suspenders, I'd swear I know you from somewhere. Sorry to hear you don't have any local psychiatrists.... now you have me wondering what part of the country you live in...
...Another day, another planet

Sarebear said...

Oh, and as far as extra planets go, I recommend THIS trio of books: The Tenth Planet (it's an easy, fast read, ie, isn't 'hard' sci-fi with a bunch of techno-babble in it, and yet it's not dumbed down or juvenilish either).

Although you probably don't have time to read. lol!

NeoNurseChic said...

Oh this can't be true (I mean...pluto HAS to be real) or else.......we're really going to have to change the words and stage presentation of "Interplanet Janet" as part of the show I'm doing - "Schoolhouse Rock"!! We can't go teaching kids the wrong stuff!! But I like the part about Pluto in the song...."But teeny little Pluto is the furthest planet from the son." (And it has a fun piano part, too!) ;)

Have I mentioned that I went to JH for 3 weeks for CTY when I was in 9th grade? Fun times! :) I actually took a writing class there!

Dreaming again said...

You know ... I memorized the planet names by learning ...

My (Mercury)
Very (Venus)
Efficient (Earth)
Mother (Mars)
Just (Jupiter)
Sent (Saturn)
Us (Uranus)
Nine (Neptune)
Pizza's (Pluto)


It would be an incomplete sentence if they voted Pluto out!! We can't just have my efficient mom sending us nine ....

Wait my efficient mom isn't so efficient anymore ...hmmm

Maybe the planet ID people are just ADHD?

Michael C said...

Forget Pluto...what about Goofy? Oh wait a minute, I get it. If I understand all of this correctly, the moon could technically be considered a planet under the new proposed rules as well.

ipanema said...

lol Dr. A, yes, Pluto is a dog. Seriously, I fear the day they're going to wipe it out of the galaxy. :)

Dr. A said...

I learned a different way to memorize the planets, just like in anatomy class, we learned a lot of ways to memorize the different structures - some appropriate, some very inappropriate -- but all very funny.

All this space talk makes me think of all the Star Trek parodies I saw growing up. "Spock, how are we going to get out of this." "Well, Captain..." Blah, blah, blah...

Sarebear said...

No, cause the moon and Earth are very far apart in size. Pluto and its moon (or sister planet) Charon, aren't that high a percentage different in size, or something.

I don't think they'll eliminate Pluto, cause I think Mercury is pretty small too, but not Pluto small.

Also, Pluto isn't ALWAYS the farthest (furthest?) planet from the sun . . . for a small part of its orbit, it dips inside Neptune's orbit and then Neptune is the furthest planet (in the current lineup/roster) from the Sun.

Are we going to have to start playing fantasy galactic billiards, here, with all these players coming and going from the team? Eeep!

But its the inclusion of Pluto that kind of necessitates reinterpreting what some of those other objects are. Reclassifying, I should say. No matter the debate, I do not think they'll get rid of Pluto.

They're thinking Charybdis might be the name for "Xena", should Xena "become" a planet, Xena is just the temp name. I think something sexier should be the name (not erotically sexy, but as in very interesting sexy, if ykwim).

I've probably bored y'all to death, now.

And then there's that time when Mars appears to be going backwards in its orbit . . .

Flashtrigger said...

Poor Pluto feels lonely, out in deeps space all alone. He needs some interstellar friends.
As for Vegas, I've lived here so long we have local favourites and "touristy" favourites. But believe me when I tell you it's culture shock going anywhere else in America: "...What? It's a convenience store without slot machines? What am I supposed to do as I wait in line for my microwave burrito?"

Pattie said...

I heard that they were first thinking about ditching Pluto a few weeks ago and I felt strangely sad about it :(
But, then I read a few days ago, they are actually considering keeping Pluto and two other new "planets"....I believe they are Cerus and Xena??? (My husband forces me to watch that damn Science Channel with him...it's either that or American Chopper)

Dr. Deborah Serani said...

My daughter did a report on the "new" planet in our solar system. It's the known as "2003UB313". If Pluto goes kaput, I wonder if her grade will change.

ladybug said...

hey doc!
dont forget...BA Meeting at my place this friday!!! i'll be home by 1300hrs from my final exam :)

difficultpt said...

What happened to your Pluto graphic??

Dr. A said...

Eh, I took down the graphic. Thanks for noticing. Got tired of it. Did you like it?

difficultpt said...

Well, it fit . . . LOL, you were bored, weren't you?!

manny hernandez said...

Thanks for a good laugh! I thought of taking your concept a bit further, and while I was doing it, I realized other folks were actually conducting a campaign to save Pluto. Interesting world! Keep up the good blogging. I will come by often. I am totally into the topic of the American Health System

Anonymous said...

Save Pluto.

http://www.petitiononline.com/spaceguy/petition.html

Robert said...

http://www.petitiononline.com/solnine/petition.html

Save Pluto!