Thursday, August 24, 2006

The importance of staying in your neighborhood

Pluto's looking pretty happy. Apparently he didn't get the news. He's been kicked out.

What? Ohhhhhh. That Pluto.

PRAGUE, Czech Republic (AP) -- Leading astronomers declared Thursday that Pluto is no longer a planet under historic new guidelines that downsize the solar system from nine planets to eight.

For now, membership will be restricted to the eight "classical" planets in the solar system: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune.

Much-maligned Pluto doesn't make the grade under the new rules for a planet: "a celestial body that is in orbit around the sun, has sufficient mass for its self-gravity to overcome rigid body forces so that it assumes a ... nearly round shape, and has cleared the neighborhood around its orbit."

Pluto is automatically disqualified because its oblong orbit overlaps with Neptune's.

Instead, it will be reclassified in a new category of "dwarf planets," similar to what long have been termed "minor planets.

So long, Pluto. We'll miss ya.

Can you name the planets (including or excluding Pluto)?

Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto


Rhonda said...

Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and poor demoted Pluto.

Smarty Pants said...

So, are they going to change the mnemonic to:

My Very Excellent Mother Just Served Us Noodles??


Playground Monitor said...

That beats the very naughty mnemonic I read somewhere else. :grin:

Lis said...

I think this is so stupid. To take a planet and demote it to a minor planet (still a planet I'm guessing since the p word is there). The news was just talking about how much money its going to cost the broke school system to go out and replace all the textbooks that had the 9 planet system.

Hmm, now I'll have to search out that naughty mnemonic lol

Problem Child said...

I think Pluto should be grandfathered's been a planet for 70+ years. In my heart, it will always be a planet.

I, too, think its a ploy to reprint thousands of textbooks...

Problem Child said...

And, PM? Did you know the answer to your question is in the article?

Not too tricky, even for me :-)

Playground Monitor said...

Of course I knew the answer! It's there at the bottom of the post. You just have to highlight it to see it. Tricky, aren't I?


Problem Child said...

But it's also in the second paragraph of the posted article...

Playground Monitor said...

Well, duh! Change that from "Tricky, aren't I?" to "Stupid, aren't I?" Cutting and pasting has its drawbacks.