Quote of the Day, You Can’t Give Pluto Its Planetary Status Back… edition.

It was never yours to take away*.

In 2006, the International Astronomical Union, a global group of astronomy experts, established a definition of a planet that required it to “clear” its orbit, or in other words, be the largest gravitational force in its orbit.

Since Neptune’s gravity influences its neighboring planet Pluto, and Pluto shares its orbit with frozen gases and objects in the Kuiper belt, that meant Pluto was out of planet status.However, in a new study published online Wednesday in the journal Icarus, UCF planetary scientist Philip Metzger, who is with the university’s Florida Space Institute, reported that this standard for classifying  is not supported in the research literature.



Earth is reportedly not a planet. By the I[A]U’s own rules.

Assuming that this story is true, because I haven’t gotten into the weeds yet on this one.  But, hey, the headline’s too good to pass up.  At issue is an asteroid (2016 H03), which apparently turns out to be a quasi-satellite of ours (too far out to be a satellite, too close to our own orbit to be ignored). Why does that matter? Well: (more…)

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I have not ‘gotten over’ what happened to Pluto.

It’s a planet, dammit. Just like Eris is a planet, and apparently 2007 OR10 is a planet. Although God knows what we’re going to call that last one.  I’d vote for ‘Yuggoth,’ if only to really confuse people two hundred years from now. Anyway, it’s funny how this ‘dwarf planet’ thing still rankles people. The scientific community didn’t handle this issue well, huh?

Speaking of Yuggoth… apparently HP Lovecraft may have thought that Pluto had the mass of Earth, because that’s what science was telling him at the time when Lovecraft was writing “The Whisperer in Darkness.”  And, speaking of The Whisperer in Darkness… if you haven’t seen the HPL Historical Society’s film version of that story, you really should: it’s quite good. And, speaking of the HPLHS, they seem to be off that weird half-hiatus of theirs and are now producing creative material again HELP HELP I CANNOT STOP THIS INFINITE REFERENCING


Caltech thinks that it’s found a tenth planet.




Caltech researchers have found evidence of a giant planet tracing a bizarre, highly elongated orbit in the outer solar system. The object, which the researchers have nicknamed Planet Nine, has a mass about 10 times that of Earth and orbits about 20 times farther from the sun on average than does Neptune (which orbits the sun at an average distance of 2.8 billion miles). In fact, it would take this new planet between 10,000 and 20,000 years to make just one full orbit around the sun.

It’s actually pretty interesting stuff: read the whole thing. Just be prepared for a little anti-Plutonian bigotry at the end, there. Unwelcome, but not unexpected.

Via Memeorandum.


And in other news: Pluto!


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I make no bones about this site being pro-Pluto.

It’s a planet, dammit.

This week, amid so much discouraging news of irredentist militias and unrepentant neocons, there was a small bit of news that might cheer people up, at least a little: Pluto, it seems, may be accepted back into the club of planets.

It will not surprise you to hear that the New Yorker is as sneeringly patronizing to pro-Plutonians as it is to us dread ‘neocons,’ not to mention everybody else that the author’s tribe hates.  Which makes this a bit of an ironic article on the fellow’s behalf, given that he probably doesn’t realize that he’s being as reflexively supportive of his own tribal prejudices as the people that he was sneering at.  I’m not mad about that, mind you: I’m cheerful, you see, that we’re making promise in getting Pluto back into its rightful place. (more…)


Pluto MAKES ITS MOVE to return to its former greatness.

Try to shrug this one off, planetologists!

The Hubble Space Telescope has sniffed out evidence of complex carbon molecules, the building blocks of life in this corner of the cosmos, lying on the frozen surface of Pluto. The distant dwarf world is known to harbor methane ice and other frigid compounds, but this is the first time scientists have suggested there could be other complex carbon chemicals, too.

Something is absorbing ultraviolet light on Pluto’s surface, and it may be organic compounds or some nitrogen-containing material, according to scientists at the Southwest Research Institute. That’s organic not as in life, but as in carbon-based compounds that make up the building blocks of life as we know it right now.

“Dwarf world,” huh?  Do “dwarf worlds” have complex carbon chemicals?  And what is SCIENCE going to do if those complex carbon chemicals get caught moving around and drinking each other’s helium fluids, huh?  What happens when the Mi-go announce that they’ve finally opened up their Yuggoth consulate?  Will it be a dwarf world then? Will it, SCIENCE?


…Sorry.  This Pluto thing just gets me worked up, sometimes.  Especially since SCIENCE sneakily renamed it “134340.”  SCIENCE didn’t have to do that, you know.  That was just petty.

Via Instapundit.

Moe Lane



Pluto *is* a planet, dammit.

Not a ‘dwarf planet.’ It was a planet when I was born, it’s a planet now, and it’ll be a planet after I’m dead. I don’t care what the International Astronomical Union has to say about it.

And get off my lawn!

Moe Lane

PS: Sign the petition!\

PPS: No, the Yuggoth
thing has nothing to do with it. Really. Honest. Not a thing.

PPPS: Via Fark Geek.

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