Last week's News

News article for the week of 9/27/06.

Pluto Weighs In On Planetary Designation Debate
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 entity, Pluto.
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 around cactuses.
Apparently these diets are supposed to be used sequentially for long-term weight loss
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 to do.

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