The Family (Or most of them)

The Family (Or most of them)
The Family

August 16, 2006



For those who haven't, Pluto is still a planet, although it's been downsized to some kind of lower category. And three others have been added to the list to bring the number of planets in our solar system to 12.

Here's a followup story, just to keep the universe informed...(besides that, I seem to have the Blogger Blahs this week).

The tally of planets in our solar system would jump instantly to a dozen under a highly controversial new definition proposed by the International Astronomical Union (IAU).

Eventually there would be hundreds as more round objects are found beyond Neptune.
The proposal, which sources tell is gaining broad support, tries to plug a big gap in astronomy textbooks, which have never had a definition for the word "planet."

It addresses discoveries of Pluto-sized worlds that have in recent years pitched astronomers into heated debates over terminology.

The asteroid Ceres, which is round, would be recast as a dwarf planet in the new scheme.
Pluto would remain a planet and its moon Charon would be reclassified as a planet. Both would be called "plutons," however, to distinguish them from the eight "classical" planets.

A far-out Pluto-sized object known as 2003 UB313 would also be called a pluton. That would make Caltech researcher Mike Brown, who found 2003 UB313, formally the discoverer of the 12th planet. But he thinks it's a lousy idea.

"It's flattering to be considered discoverer of the 12th planet," Brown said in a telephone interview. He applauded the committee's efforts but said the overall proposal is "a complete mess."

By his count, the definition means there are already 53 known planets in our solar system with countless more to be discovered.

Brown and other another expert said the proposal, to be put forth Wednesday at the IAU General Assembly meeting in Prague, is not logical.

For example, Brown said, it does not make sense to consider Ceres and Charon planets and not call our Moon (which is bigger than both) a planet.

IAU members will vote on the proposal Thursday, Aug. 24. Its fate is far from clear.


  1. Again I'm amazed (and, frankly, frightened and despondent) that we're thinking on the same wavelength. That, incidentally, is a violation of the Federal Communications Code which happens to frown upon wavelength and frequency sharing.

    If the Americans dominate the selection process, the new planets will probably be banned for not being good, WASP planets.

  2. so now were into the naming game and not doing real science. I dont know what this will do good in the world of astronomy unless ofcourse it may increase real estate prices in Pluto, or ceres for that matter!

    For a more scientific inclination, we could just call it with its astronomical call names or sumthing. sigh.

  3. Seriously, does it matter?

    We, in the current state of technological advances no matter how great and numerous they may be, do not retain that of which is necessary to fully understand the universe, solar system or whatever else there may be lurking in the darkness that is the sky.

    There has been one thing that always urked me about space and all that jazz....why is it people are quick to denounce life on other planets with the notion that no living thing can exist given the gaseous properties and chemical makeup of a planet? Just because we live off of oxygen and water, does not mean that life may not exist using various other elements and such.

    Who said they have to look like us, breathe like us, or be in the same form as us. Life can exist on any level, no matter what chemical makeup or profile it has? Right?

    Excuse me, I have been out of school for six years...I do not claim to be accurate or right. :)

  4. btw a woman who had won a Lottery in the US had really asked for a piece of land in the moon. I guess he will now consider Charon?


  5. Awaiting - you would really enjoy reading Arthur Clarke's "2010" and tha sequel - "2016", I think. Great minds think alike ;^D>

  6. Fronty: also have the Blogger Blahs, or you're primed about Pluto?

    Either way, great minds think alike.

    Ghost P:
    Nice to see you haunting my haunts again. Yep, I guess it is the name game...and it's all about size, but then it's not.

    You are bang on. We're so self-centered that we believe that if other planets couldn't support US, then they can't support any life.

    Goofy, but I guess you go with what you know...or what you think you know.

    Was that a play on word joke? Now he'll consider "Charon" as in "Sharin'?"

    If it was, good on ya, I almost missed it. If it wasn't, well, that's my warped humour.

    Note that the Moon is larger than at least one of these new "planets." Should it remain our moon or would it be cool to say we're so close to a "planet" and we've actually landed on one?

  7. Hey Lancelot LINK how long did it take you to link all of your planet facts?
    I would like to add that there is no actual CENTRE of the Universe despite what we humans would like to think so naming 12 planets or 1000 planets will not add up to a hill of beans once the alien insect overlords take over.... and
    I for one salute them.

  8. hahaaaaa- just look at the astrologers go!
    so sorry to anyone who takes astrology seriously... i just think its immensely funny!

  9. Thanks for the recommendation, FE...I'm going to have to check it out. I need something to read. The last was "The Time Machine" by HG Wells.

  10. Ummm Angel if you think astrology is a big joke, why is your graphic a dragon? So astrology is a joke but not Chinese Astrology?

    I agree with Vicus' post on physicists. The world and life goes by and they will be arguing ad nauseam (sp) about which are "planets" and which are "plutons." Kind of like Israel and Lebanon. Besides, they all wear Birkenstock.

  11. Homo Carcinogens:

    I have no idea what your question means.

    As for your statement, will you be leading the invasion of the body snatchers?


    Yeah, how DOES this screw up those astrologers? Excellent point! (I think it's kinda funny too).

    Oooh, kinda sensitive about the astrology issue, huh?

    And I'm probably the only person on the planet who doesn't know this, but what are Birkenstocks?

    I flaunt my ignorance in arrogance.

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