Jupiterday Diatribe: Pluto is Still a Planet (Still)

Posted on 31st August 2007 by Ryan Somma in Enlightenment Warrior - Tags: , ,

Somehow in all the incredibly complex hubbub of getting this blog set up (ie. figuring out how to post), I completely missed the fact that August 24th was the one-year anniversary of that infamous day when a bunch of dimbulbs at the International Astronomical Union (IAU) decided to demote Pluto to non-planet status with an ambiguous definition of a planet and criteria that are very difficult to apply.

The online reaction to this development was fierce. Websites like PleaseSavePluto.org, Save-Pluto.de, SavePluto.org, and… um… several other sites that appear to have gone dead due to lack of interest (buncha lazy-butts). I was outraged enough to write an angry missive to the IAU, which was probably never read, and published a letter to the editor about it in my local paper, also which nobody reads.

I swear my opinion has nothing to do with the fact that, if Pluto gets reinstated as a planet, then Eris, formerly “Xena,” formerly UB313, named after the Greek goddess of chaos and formal deity of Discordianism, my favorite theology, will also attain planetary status.

Hail Eris! Goddess of Discordia! She Deserves Planetary Status!?
Hail Eris! Goddess of Discordia!
She Deserves Planetary Status!

Eris’ discoverer, Michael Brown of the California Institute of Technology, named the planet after the goddess in light of all the controversy his discovery stirred up (and perpetuates) in the world of Astronomy.

The operative word here is “planet.” Even if Pluto retains its Dwarf Planet status, it’s still a planet. So there are still 12 planets in the solar system, and all you dog-butt-sniffing Pluto h8ers who are so happy because you think you’ve won are actually dumber than a box of hair.

“Dwarf Planet” is still a “Planet.” Not convinced? Try to imagine the following conversation:

Frakwit Pluto H8er: There are 6.4998 billion people on planet Earth!

Person Who’s Not a Frakwit: I thought there were 6.5 billion people on Earth.

Frakwit Pluto H8er: Oh, I’m not counting the 162,500 people with dwarfism. Those are “Dwarf Humans.”

Person Who’s Not a Frakwit: Huh..?

Where’s the #%$&ing ACLU when you need them??? Here is a blatant case of discrimination against people with dwarfism and Discordians/Erisians!

‘elp! ‘elp! I’m being oppressed!

I’ve already been over it, Real Astronomers have already been over it, and the online community has already been over it to death. We all know that this injustice is the result of the Orbital Dynamicists, who felt their field of study didn’t have enough influence over the original drafts for defining a planet.

Well you know what? Boo-Hoo. Go cry emo boy.

Dynamicism is a panty-waist field of study anyways. I mean, come on, you can’t see gravity. So what’s the big deal? Who cares what a bunch of thumb-sucking, diaper-wearing, whiney-ass astro-physicists think anyways? If they’re so smart, why can’t they predict the orbit of Saturns moons?

Mark my words: This is not over yet! Just wait until IAU General Assembly 2009 h8ers!

August 8, 2009 through August 14, 2009 IT WILL BE ON LIKE DONKEY KONG!!!

Just 709 days to go…


  1. hahahah, excellent rant

    Comment by Clint — August 31, 2007 @ 5:19 pm

  2. I just returned from attending a three-day conference at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab titled “The Great Planet Debate: Science as Process,” and from the enthusiastic turnout and discussion there, I can assure you that this issue is very much alive and that we have not heard the last on it. Many speakers discussed the dynamical versus geophysical planet definition. The problem with the dynamical definition is it classifies an object solely by where it is while ignoring what it is. So if a Mars sized object is found in the Kuiper Belt, it would not be considered a planet while the real Mars is. That is just plain absurd, just as is the IAU determination that a dwarf planet is not a planet at all, which makes no linguistic sense. On this second anniversary of this travesty, rest assured that there are still many voices active in fighting for Pluto’s rightful reinstatement as a planet.

    Comment by Laurel Kornfeld — August 23, 2008 @ 2:22 am

  3. Be that as it may, there is only a finite amount of energy, and spending it on semantics takes it away from somewhere else where it could be put to better use ;)

    Comment by ClintJCL — August 23, 2008 @ 2:56 am

  4. Thanks for commenting laurele! BTW you have some great posts up on the subject. Thanks for covering the issue. Hopefully the IAU will come up with a classification system that doesn’t offend logic and rationality. : )

    Comment by ideonexus — August 25, 2008 @ 11:09 pm

  5. astronomers been using the classification “minor planet” for asteroids,centaurs,and transneptunians.
    the numbers that they assign to them are minor planet numbers

    Comment by Raymond Andrews — August 19, 2009 @ 8:26 pm

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