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Astronomy News [Aug. 24th, 2006|10:23 am]
Pluto Demoted

Pluto is, officially and finally, no longer a planet. I admit, I'm bummed by this. Pluto has long been my favorite planet, just because it's so small and mysterious and it has a cool setup with its moon. Charon, the biggest moon, is large enough and close enough that it really forms a double system; the center of mass that the two bodies orbit about is actually above the surface of the planet.

If you're not sure how to pronounce the name Charon, well, you're not alone. The moon is named for the mythological ferryman who carried people across the river Styx and into Hades. His name is pronounced with a K sound: KAY-ron. But the astronomer who discovered the moon partly suggested the name because his wife was named Charlene (and went by Char for short). So he prounced it the same way as the start of her name, SHARE-run. Personally, I prefer the classical version.

And, if you didn't hear, you might be wondering about my calling it the "biggest moon". Pluto has two other moons, Nix and Hydra, which were discovered only last summer.

Finally, in followup to earlier news about misplaced moon landing tapes, it turns out one tape was out there. A rock video producer had requested footage from the Smithsonian and got a reel of moon landing video. This was left in his archive until he saw the recent news story. Will other tapes be similarly located?

[User Picture]From: beaitchtwo
2006-08-24 06:00 pm (UTC)
I kinda had a thing for Neptune....no, Saturn.....no, Jupiter.....no, no, I DEFINATELY had a thing for Uranus!
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[User Picture]From: sabercat
2006-08-25 04:01 am (UTC)

I think...

That's called Ass-tronomy. :)
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[User Picture]From: jedd_marten
2006-08-24 06:10 pm (UTC)
Okay it's not a "planet", it's a "dwarf planet" ...
Gee the word "planet" snuck back in there and it's not really much of a change from a status quo, except now there's possibly hundereds of "dwarf planets" instead of hundreds of planets.
I'm sure glad they cleared that up. ;)
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From: ex_radric52
2006-08-24 06:42 pm (UTC)

Oh man I'm horrible....
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[User Picture]From: strange1andie
2006-08-24 07:10 pm (UTC)
Aww! Next they'll be saying the ninja turtles don't exist.
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[User Picture]From: strange1andie
2006-08-25 01:51 am (UTC)
Can I metaquote this?
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[User Picture]From: strange1andie
2006-08-25 02:44 am (UTC)

thanks :)

yay! tada.
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[User Picture]From: sceimhiuil
2006-08-25 02:52 am (UTC)
Wait, why would we put Ceres, Pluto, and Charon in there? o_O
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[User Picture]From: kinkyturtle
2006-08-25 03:49 am (UTC)
Or for just the eight main planets:

My Very Evil Mother Just Served Us NOTHING.
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[User Picture]From: ankhorite
2006-08-26 01:30 pm (UTC)

Most Valiant Elves! Mordor's... etc.

LOVE these.

Except, much as I am fond of the eponymous goddess, I think I gotta leave Ceres out until it (she?) formally gets in. Charon, too. But if they get in, wouldn't UB313 get in also, between Neptune & Pluto?


*I Get So Confused.
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[User Picture]From: ankhorite
2006-08-26 01:36 pm (UTC)


Quoting myself: MVEMCJSUN-UB-PC?

Wait. If UB313=Xena, and it should, then...




or, for the purists who will take away the B: MVEMCJSUN-UAKAX-PC
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[User Picture]From: vermillionfox
2006-08-24 11:22 pm (UTC)
I know the real reason for all this squabble which isn't posted, but makes for a darn fine conspiracy theory. Scientists, if left Pluto a "planet" would then have to give "planet" status to the slightly larger-than-Pluto discovery: Xena. Even though is is currently UB313, people worldwide have already embraced the nickname and even calling its moon Gabrielle. Scientists being an unruly bunch who have a hard time being taken seriously after NASA failures, Mars probe issues, biologists naming animals after celebrities, etc, came together and found there were two options. Let Xena and Gabrielle make it into textbooks for future scientists to snicker about it, or to reclassify planets to exclude Xena at any cost, even Pluto. Overall, I'd love Xena, but they are hiding the truth.
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From: jackrat
2006-08-25 10:07 pm (UTC)
Officially, blah! It's a planet to whomever wants it to be a planet ;)
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[User Picture]From: ankhorite
2006-08-26 01:19 pm (UTC)

Pluto's Birthday

It's extra-sad for me because a dear friend was born on the day Pluto was discovered. He was quite proud of that, always cited it when asked for his birthday.

He's since moved on, celestially speaking... wonder what he would have thought of this.
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