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Bad Dog, Pluto!

August 24th, 2006

Last week it was all hugs and boat rides in the park; scientists where going to be keeping Pluto and adding more planets, including “plutons” – Pluto-like objects. Oh Joy! Oh Bliss! Pluto, after all these maligned years, finally getting some respect:

Pluto aficionados, rejoice! Pluto is a planet. So are the giant asteroid Ceres, Pluto’s moon Charon, and a large outer-solar system object called 2003 UB313. (Pluto examing some of his moons – right) The solar system has 12 planets instead of the familiar 9, according to a proposal that the General Assembly of the International Astronomical Union (IAU) will vote on next week in Prague, Czech Republic.

Then today, a bomb was dropped on the nerd world (don’t send e-mails – I have a telescope too):

Pluto was stripped of its status as a planet on Thursday when astronomers from around the world redefined it as a “dwarf planet,” leaving just eight major planets in the solar system.

From respect to dwarf status in one day, talk about getting the big IAU-FU. With friends like these and &tc.

So what happened to poor Pluto in the space of one day? While this is a deep and abiding mystery, At Home in Hespeler has cracked the case, answering the enduring question of the last few hours or so.


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