Last week's News
News article for the week of 9/27/06.
Pluto Weighs In On Planetary Designation
By, Grey Science
Recent debates within astronomical circles has led to the reclassification
of what exactly is a planet, with itís application leading Pluto to be
demoted, so to speak, from planet to a partner in a dual planetary body
with itís former moon Charon.
Scientifically speaking this makes a great deal of sense, as Pluto is
quite small and Charon nearly equivalent in size, resulting in a point
of orbit which centres between the two bodies rather than within the largest
Additionally the orbit of the body in question around the Sun is highly
eccentric and unusual. While it is widely accepted that Pluto probably
started out as a rouge interstellar body that was captured by the Sun
after the development of most of the planets, this should not be seen
as a reason for reclassification.
Opponents of the devaluing of Pluto say that this is little more than
a fad after the discovery of the Xena body, which has a much greater mass,
though may not be large enough to fully describe the full extent of orbital
exaggeration within the outer planetary bodies.
With Xena vying for attention some astronomers are concerned that their
colleagues wish to avoid the ďPlanet XĒ designation and stick with a nine
planet view of the solar system for convenience and tradition.
Of Pluto itself nothing conclusive has been heard. Early statements seemed
indignant at the reduction in status, the latest belittlement in a long
line ever since it was discovered to be a small, rocky body rather than
a mighty gas giant like itís nearest neighbours.
Now however, with obesity being the new smoking, Pluto has come out with
three miracle diets, two tell all books and an endorsement deal similar
to Jerrod of Subway fame.
The three diets have no apparent common ground, one is similar to the
Atkins Diet, another follows the Grapefruit Diet with extra white rice
and the other seems to be based upon a little known Texan discipline centred
Apparently these diets are supposed to be used sequentially for long-term
Most of the commotion now centres on the books, one detailing Plutoís
weight loss journey, receiving criticism in scientific circles for misrepresentation,
it should be called mass loss, and a tell all about Plutoís life and times.
Both have been called slanderous by Neptune and Uranus, while Jupiter
has decried the diet book specifically as a lie, citing Plutoís distinctive
metabolism as the true reason for the mass loss.
Saturn is apparently despondent, depressed and quite possibly suicidal
after Pluto referred to the ringed planet as ďan upstart prima donna who
turns to cream cakes whenever a rejection arrives.Ē
None of this helps the scientific debate, some see this ad more than ample
evidence for demoting Pluto, while others see it as playing into the orbiting
formís little ego game and cementing the endorsement deal, even though
details on that are yet to be disclosed.
As a result some are suggesting that Pluto be simply forgotten, though
with an appearance on Oprah to promote the diet book that may be hard