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Some Demote Pluto To Non-Planet

Hemos posted more than 13 years ago | from the no-more-9th-planet dept.

Space 198

Ravn0s writes "Pluto, subject of much controversy since it's discovery, has now been demoted from a planet. The Rose Center for Earth and Space, which opened last year at the American Museum of Natural History in New York is now saying that Pluto is not necessarily a planet at all but just a smallish lump of ice. Essentially, Pluto is now a largish comet. Details in this article." Other groups disagree, as the article points out.

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Re:And in related news... (1)

Microsift (223381) | more than 13 years ago | (#478976)

I always disagreed with this analysis, but back in school, they told us that Australia was both.

Here's a bit more information... (3)

pabs (1629) | more than 13 years ago | (#478982)

As I'm sure others have already pointed out, this is old news. While this is mainly a political debate over semantics, there is actually some hard science behind this so-called deprication.

Here's a quick list of the reasons I can remember off the top of my head:
  • All of the planets beyond Mars consist mostly of a large atmosphere and planet-wide ocean (thus the semi-accurate label "Gas Giants")... except Pluto. Pluto is mainly rock and ice, with little or no atmosphere. Interestingly enough, Pluto does have an atmosphere, but it freezes during Pluto's "winter" and falls to the surface.
  • All of the planets beyond Mars have a mass many times that of Earth; except Pluto. Pluto is roughly half the size of Earth's moon.
  • All of the planets in our solar system have an almost planar orbit (ie, the orbits all lie within a few degrees of the same plane). Pluto's orbit is inclined over 15 degrees.
  • Pluto's orbital radius is HUGE [colorado.edu] and highly erratic. About 49 times the average radius of Earth's orbit at it's peak.
Given these facts, Pluto clearly does not belong in the same category as the 8 planets. It does, however, fit nicely with objects in the Kuiper belt [sciam.com]. The Kuiper belt is the collection of icy planetismals that were "kicked out" of the inner solar system instead of coalescing into planets. Their orbits are higly erratic and non-planar, and generally lie beyond the orbits of Neptune and Uranus.

Hope this clears things up a bit...

odds of being killed by lightning and

Discrimination!! (1)

JesseJackson (309813) | more than 13 years ago | (#478985)

When you call Pluto a comet it make me wanna vomit!! We must stop this now! These "scientists" are in the pocket of the "Big Planet" lobby that seeks to degrade and diminish the status of Pluto based on the size and icy composition.It's all president Bush's fault!! Stay out the Bushes!! Take my picture!!

Re:Other planets aren't planets either. (1)

lowflying (252232) | more than 13 years ago | (#478988)

Finally it greatly affects the bodies orbiting around it. For example Io is made vulcanic from Jupiters magetic influence.

Close, it is from the immense tidal (gravitational) forces imposed by Jupiter and the other moons.


New Slashdot Acronym: RTFA (4)

TrevorB (57780) | more than 13 years ago | (#478995)

Read the fg article! This is about one museum in New York that decided to label Pluto as a non-planet in a single display. This isn't the gathering of an astronomical society declaring Pluto a non-planet!

Not that Pluto is a *real* planet anyway, but that's beside the point. :)

Re:Yeah, what authority do these people have? (2)

atrowe (209484) | more than 13 years ago | (#478996)

There are also rocks on pluto. If you think about it, what are the rest of the planets? Hunks of rock and ice. What should make pluto any different. And pluto has a diameter of 1375 miles (2200 km), not 2500 miles.

Wow... (1)

Electric Angst (138229) | more than 13 years ago | (#478997)

...all I can say is, there are going to be some pissed off astrologers if this thing ends up being popularly reognized. Imagine having to explain to someone, "Okay, so you weren't exactly born under a planet, but..."


hmmm... (3)

jonfromspace (179394) | more than 13 years ago | (#478998)

I bet the Ice People living near the core of pluto are gonna be pissed...

I bet this is Hemos's doing... 'cause we all know he is an Alien [slashdot.org]. After that Optical SETI crap [slashdot.org], we should have expected this.

Re:Demote Pluto, I don't mind. (1)

reidbold (55120) | more than 13 years ago | (#478999)

None of the planets orbit on the same plane, pluto's is just more uneven.

What's in a name?? (3)

DeadVulcan (182139) | more than 13 years ago | (#479000)

The Rose Center says there is no universal definition of a planet...

Then make one! We shouldn't be debating whether Pluto is a planet, we should be debating what the definition of a planet should be. Then, Pluto will come out in the wash.

...a 1999 proposal to list Pluto as both a planet and a member of the Kuiper Belt was abandoned after it drew strong opposition from astronomers who did not want to diminish Pluto's status.

I can't believe people are getting territorial about Pluto.

Why is this news?


Re:Yeah, what authority do these people have? (2)

CaptainCarrot (84625) | more than 13 years ago | (#479001)

I could say that Pluto is just a 2,500 mile-wide hunk of ice.

You could say that, but you'd be wrong. It's only 1,413 miles wide, smaller than the Moon, as you'd have discovered had you read the article. This has a lot to do with why the Rose Center demoted it.

I'd say a center devoted to astronomical education has a whole lot more authority to decide what is and is not a planet than the general public. Pluto has the composition of a comet and shares an orbit with 70 other objects that are definitely comets. Ergo it's a comet, albeit a large one.

Re:Meanwhile, 500 good stories are being rejected (1)

reidbold (55120) | more than 13 years ago | (#479002)

I'm quite interested in this, and I'm just a lowly hs student.

Pluto (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#479015)

Pluto is a dog, dumbass.

oh well (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#479019)

I'm not sure why anyone really cares. Regardless of pluto's official status, it has a given mass, and an orbital pattern which was discovered decades ago. The only people who care are the same sort of people who really think that there's a difference between addressing someone as a "maid" or a "houskeeper"...

a large comet (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#479021)

large enough to keep its own moon

Am I wrong? (1)

Dest (207166) | more than 13 years ago | (#479022)

It's to my understanding that there is no TRUE definition of a planet. So why not call Earth an asteroid, or even Saturn? What needs to be done is a set established guideline for what a planet really is, than we can settle this. I was taught that Pluto was a planet in school, and it still is being taught almost everywhere. I think the people who decided this wanted some attention.

But we'll starve!! (2)

ibpooks (127372) | more than 13 years ago | (#479023)

My Very Patient Mother Just Served Us Nine ______

Served us nine what?!? We'll starve without the pizzas! We need Pluto to avoid world-wide starvation!

Re:Wow... (1)

_xeno_ (155264) | more than 13 years ago | (#479024)

I've hit the +50 karma cap. Does that mean I won?

No, it means it's time to abuse the +2 bonus until you fall back to around 40, and then post normally. (A good post can lose you six karma if you're really luck! If you manage to lose six karma on one post, you get a special prize - your account will be deactivated for a period of time!)

Re:What's in a name?? (3)

DeadVulcan (182139) | more than 13 years ago | (#479025)

Okay, I'm replying to my own post, but I just thought of a better way to express myself.

When does an island become a continent?

When does a town become a city?

When does winter become spring?


5 food groups? (1)

Ratteau (183242) | more than 13 years ago | (#479026)

there were only 4 food groups

Whats the 5th food group??? Or did they finally promote beer?

/. posting WAY to many out-of this world stories (1)

autocracy (192714) | more than 13 years ago | (#479040)

Specifcally: communicating with space dust, optical searching a better way to find aliens, and now this. I know you people keep a back-log of about 250 stories at any given time, and this is the best you could get out of all those?

Now to be moderated down for bashing SlashDot and wondering about the poster's sanity. Oh yeah, and as they said: THIS ONE'S ALREADY BEEN POSTED!

My karma's bigger than yours!

Re:And people get PAID for this!? (1)

themashby (203334) | more than 13 years ago | (#479041)

That would be the Plutonians. The Plutonians are sick and tired of being ignored.

Re:Yeah, what authority do these people have? (1)

vanillicat (258354) | more than 13 years ago | (#479042)

It's a very special "comet" though. How many comets do you know have their own moons?

IAU decides, not Neil Tyson (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#479043)

The International Astronomical Union decides on the status on solary system objects, and it issued a press release in *1999* regarding the status of Pluto. It can be found here [iau.org]. While the IAU did not specifically say Pluto is or is not a planet, it certainly did not officially demote Pluto to a minor planet, or assign it to the class of TNOs. Officially, Pluto *is* a planet. Until the IAU comes to an agreement to demote Pluto to a minor planet or TNO, it should be considered the ninth planet. Removing Pluto from displays about "the planets" or changing discussions to "the eight planets of the solar system" is confusing and unnecessary.

Tyson is just trying to look for publicity (2)

efuseekay (138418) | more than 13 years ago | (#479044)

Pluto is NOT mostly ice : it has the density of TWICE water (and ice is less dense than water). It has a rocky crust! It has an atmosphere! It has a moon! What more can you ask?!

This Tyson fella should be brought up to the next American Astronomical Society (AAS) meeting and asked to repent.

Besides, nobody is going to listen him anyway.

Pluto vs Asteroids (1)

Xibby (232218) | more than 13 years ago | (#479046)

This seems like old news to me. Prehaps some other orginization demoted Pluto some 10 odd years ago. All I really remember is that there are asteroids in the asteroid belt that are bigger than Pluto.

Everything you know is wrong. Black is white and up is down.

Now astrology can go back to normal. (2)

Glowing Fish (155236) | more than 13 years ago | (#479057)

I think this is a good thing. I was always annoyed seeing perfect good astological predictions messed up by the addition of all these new planets. Seven planets is nice and symetrical.

If Isaac Newton didn't need Pluto for his astrology, we shouldn't need it for ours.

The Sinclair ZX-80 has been demoted. (2)

themashby (203334) | more than 13 years ago | (#479058)

The Sinclair ZX-80 has been demoted to a programmable calculator and is no longer considered a computer.

Eight is nicer than Nine (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#479060)

This isn't new news. However, I for one, am glad that it is finailly being recognised
as not a planet. Then we can have 3 bits to describe a planet instead of 4. What a god damn waste.
An extra bit for 1 lousy planet.

000 = mercury, 001 = venus, 010 = earth, 011 = mars,
100 = jupier, 101 = saturn, 110 = uranus, 111 = neptune

Now, we can have the msb in the nibble for specifying if we
are in the regular universe, or an upside-down universe.
It could work like this: struct _universe { char* name; unsigned char universe_num : 4; unsigned char is_crazyuniverse : 1; unsigned char planet : 3; };

RTFH! (1)

efuseekay (138418) | more than 13 years ago | (#479062)

/. editors might be sloppy lately, but the titled did state "SOME demote Pluto....".

So RTFH (RTF Headline)

Re:Pluto vs Asteroids (1)

Kotetsu (135021) | more than 13 years ago | (#479063)

Ceres is the largest asteroid, and it has a diameter of 580 miles. Pluto has a diameter of 1413 miles. That makes Pluto almost 15 times bigger than Ceres.

Various groups have tried to "demote" Pluto over the years. The IAU is generally regarded as the final authority, and previous posters have linked to the press release where it was announced that Pluto's status would not change.

Re:What's in a name?? (1)

YeOldeGnurd (14524) | more than 13 years ago | (#479064)

Tell me, How can you mend this broken man? How can a loser ever win? How can you stop -- the sun from shining? What makes a planet a planet?

Bravery, Kindness, Clarity, Honesty, Compassion, Generosity

Patient?? (2)

donutello (88309) | more than 13 years ago | (#479065)

The way I learned it was My Very Educated Mother Just Showed Us Nine Planets. Where I come from, we call the third planet "Earth".

You must be from that 9th planet out there. I'm glad to hear you call us Pluto. What do you call yourself?

PS: Sorry about the demotion, mate

Re:And in related news... (1)

HillBilly (120575) | more than 13 years ago | (#479066)

But most countries are not islands. Thats why Australia is refered to as the worlds largest island.

Re:And people get PAID for this!? (1)

Hellburner (127182) | more than 13 years ago | (#479067)

Yeah...the Plutonians...and the Grecians...and the Kosovanians.

What we need is compassionate astronomy. Comets hurled toward Earth by Pluto's gravity should be cared for and adopted --- not brutally diverted with nukes before they can ever smash a continent.


Re:How do i get that kind of Authority? (1)

jrs (27486) | more than 13 years ago | (#479070)

Theres 5 Food groups? All I have known is Dr.Pepper and "Kroft" dinner

Other planets aren't planets either. (2)

xFoz (231025) | more than 13 years ago | (#479071)

It could be argued that Jupiter isn't a "planet" at all but is really a failed star. It's rotation is too fast given it's size (8.8 hours). It emits more than twice the energy it should if it was just reflecting light. And it has no visible surface. Finally it greatly affects the bodies orbiting around it. For example Io is made vulcanic from Jupiters magetic influence.

Mercury has not atmosphere and should be reclassified as a moon....

See how it starts? Now make your own argument debunking the other orbiting gas balls and big rocks.

Pluto not a planet?! (1)

Zaphod B (94313) | more than 13 years ago | (#479088)

Well, if it's a matter of simple mass causing it to not be a planet, we could send all of those AOL CDs and DVDs that make such great coasters to this would-be planet and beef it up a bit...

Re:Yeah, what authority do these people have? (2)

CaptainCarrot (84625) | more than 13 years ago | (#479090)

At least one asteroid [swri.edu] does. But even so, Charon [seds.org] is awfully big for a moon. No other planet has a moon that's so large relative to it, and the two bodies are more or less in a position of orbiting each other. In any event, I don't see how any of this disqualifies Pluto from comet-hood.

Once again killed by semantics (1)

smoondog (85133) | more than 13 years ago | (#479091)

Perhaps it is the cynic in me, but semantic arguments are pretty stupid. Argue about what something *is* not about what it is *called*. Pluto is a very large ball of ice. Perhaps we could argue about something interesting like how it formed or whether its orbit is decaying. Jeez, sometimes I think you guys are just upset because that diorama (sp?) you got an A+ on in the fifth grade was wrong.


Pluto is not a comet! (1)

AFCArchvile (221494) | more than 13 years ago | (#479092)

Comets have tails. Pluto doesn't have a tail. Also, it's alone and has a definable orbit. By most definitions it is a planet, but apparently these astronomers have no respect for small details, which is why most of them flunked astrophysics.

Re:5 food groups? (1)

Wiggin (97119) | more than 13 years ago | (#479093)

it used to be that there was one food group called Fruits and Vegatables. A few years ago when my younger sister was doing some of that same stuff i saw that they had split that into two seperate food groups, one for fruit and one for vegatables.

so, sorry no luck on the beer group yet.

Re:New Slashdot Acronym: RTFA (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#479095)

Maybe you should have read the article [slashdot.org] last week when slashdot posted it for the first time.

Re:Pluto is not a comet! (2)

CaptainCarrot (84625) | more than 13 years ago | (#479097)

Comets have tails. Pluto doesn't have a tail.

Is this serious? Comets only have tails as they approach the Sun as material is evaporated from their surfaces by the heat and energized by the solar wind. Pluto is far too distant from the Sun for this to happen.

Also, it's alone

Read the article, will you? It shares it's orbit with about 70 other objects that we know about, and crosses orbits with many other objects in the Kuiper belt.

and has a definable orbit.

So do most other comets. So what?

Re:What's in a name?? (1)

chrischow (133164) | more than 13 years ago | (#479098)

When does a town become a city?

here in england thats decided by HMG. but they make weird choices. city of wolverhampton for christ's sake!

Planet definition (2)

WolfWithoutAClause (162946) | more than 13 years ago | (#479099)

To my mind a planet is something that is made round by its own gravity, and is in orbit around a star.

Clearly under that definition Pluto counts as a planet. Pluto even has a moon called Charon.

The fact that Pluto is made of ice is irrelevant- Jupiter is made of gas. Does that mean Jupiter isn't a planet?

Anyway check out:

http://www.iau.org/PlutoPR.html for TNOs and other good stuff.

Re:Yeah, what authority do these people have? (2)

CaptainCarrot (84625) | more than 13 years ago | (#479100)

That's the surface. Water, solid or liquid, comprises only a very small portion of the total composition of the Earth.

Re:And in related news... (1)

CyberKnet (184349) | more than 13 years ago | (#479102)

Australasia is the term for asia-pacific. Australasia refers to more than just the island of australia and tasmania. It also includes Indonesia, Taiwan, and other asian islands. (ex-resident)


And people get PAID for this!? (2)

Moofie (22272) | more than 13 years ago | (#479103)

Pluto's out there thinking to itself "Who do those bastards think they are? I'll show you a planet, beeyotch!" and starts hurling comets from the Oort cloud. Damn scientists.

well shit, (1)

peterjm (1865) | more than 13 years ago | (#479107)

..I demoted pluto to a non character a long time ago. I mean shit, if pluto is a dog, and goofy is a dog, then why hell can goofy walk and talk (and get laid and have kids!) and pluto can't?!

Yeah, what authority do these people have? (1)

X-Dopple (213116) | more than 13 years ago | (#479114)

I could say that Pluto is just a 2,500 mile-wide hunk of ice. It won't do anything; it's already been absorbed into the general public that yes, Pluto IS a planet.

Too bad we don't know much about it, though.

Demote Pluto, I don't mind. (2)

Racher (34432) | more than 13 years ago | (#479117)

I'm not bashing Pluto, but I really don't mind having eight planets. They argue how they should define a planet, whether by size or orbit type.

I just think we should define a planet as an object of a certain mass and diameter (Pluto's size or larger) that orbits on a similar plane as the other more noticable planets.

Instead of it's wierd tilted orbit.

Just my opinion.
...and I'm not sure we should trust this Kyle Sagan either.

Re:And in related news... (2)

Goonie (8651) | more than 13 years ago | (#479123)

While the abovecomment is funny, it does illustrate a serious point - we don't have exact, unambigious definitions of "planet", and there are objects at both ends of the size spectrum that are straining our definition (Pluto at one end, some of the supermassive gas giants discovered around some neighbouring stars at the other).

So, to paraphrase the Walrus, planet means exactly what we choose it to mean, no more and no less.

Plutinos and other objects (1)

GiantKeith (225194) | more than 13 years ago | (#479124)

Astronomers have labeled Kuiper Belt objects with a 2:3 orbit resonance with Neptune "Plutinos" which Pluto is the largest one so far. An interesting site to see what "stuff" is floating about our solar system is:

For a plot of the outer solar system (Jupiter outwards)
http://cfa-www.harvard.edu/iau/lists/OuterPlot.htm l

For a plot of the inner solar system (Jupiter to the sun)
http://cfa-www.harvard.edu/iau/lists/InnerPlot.htm l

For a plot of the innermost solar system (Mars to the sun)
http://cfa-www.harvard.edu/iau/lists/InnerPlot2.ht ml

(Please ignore the spaces in ".html", don't know how to get rid of them. Gomen Nasai.)

Re:Yeah, what authority do these people have? (1)

vanillicat (258354) | more than 13 years ago | (#479125)

I guess I was thinking along the lines that whilest yes, Pluto can be labelled a comet, its history and unique circumstances perhaps merit its label as a planet, even if that requires a bit of a stretch of the imagination.

Re:Yeah, what authority do these people have? (2)

CaptainCarrot (84625) | more than 13 years ago | (#479126)

If you think about it, what are the rest of the planets? Hunks of rock and ice.

The terrestrial planets are rock, with small amounts of ice occurring only on the surface of two of them. Ice isn't a major component of their composition. The gas giants may have small rocky cores, but they're mostly hydrogen and other gases. If Pluto is a planet, its composition is entirely unique relative to the others.

Re:What's in a name?? (1)

Szoup (61508) | more than 13 years ago | (#479127)

When does an island become a continent?

It doesn't.

When does a town become a city?

With approval of the central government (according to the Chinese [iiasa.ac.at]).

When does winter become spring?

On the vernal equinox.

Hope this all helped... ;)

Pluto is always a planet to me (1)

chrischow (133164) | more than 13 years ago | (#479128)

i grew up with Pluto being a planet. in class (3rd grade i suppose) we made models of the planets and hung them from the ceiling. the lucky kids got to do the small planets hehe. its always been a planet to me, so what they or any other scientists say won't change my mind.

they'll be saying the moon isn't made of cheese next!

Re:And in related news... (2)

autocracy (192714) | more than 13 years ago | (#479129)

And that my friends, IS the point ... Which is all the more reason this topic doesn't belong on Slashdot TWICE!

My karma's bigger than yours!

Planet vs Star vs Brown Dwarf (2)

kindbud (90044) | more than 13 years ago | (#479130)

There will soon be a resolution to this raging controversy. Recent discoveries with the large infrared telescopes that have come on line in the past decade are beginning to show that stellar and planetary objects have a continuous range of sizes and masses, from the largest O-type supergiant stars, to sun-like G-type stars, to brown dwarfs, hot Jupiters and rouge planets travelling freely through space. Where ever we're able to look, we're finding objects in space at all points on the size curve.

What looks to be shaping up is this:

  • Stellar objects are those that have condensed from galactic gas clouds. This includes ordinary stars, brown dwarfs, and possibly the new rogue planets that have been uncovered far from any parent star
  • Planetary objects are those that have condensed from the protoplanetary disk surrounding new stellar objects in the early stages of formation
Under these definitions, stars and brown dwarfs are stellar objects (or just "stars"). So are the rogue planets that have been recently found, if it turns out that they condensed directly from interstellar gas and dust. Hot, massive Jupiters, Pluto, other comets and asteroids are planetary objects, and so are their moons, if any (you can call these "planets").

The discovery of the rogue planets turns out to be a recent key to this puzzle. It appears they formed directly from a collapsing interstellar dust/gas cloud, rather than in a protoplanetary disk surrounding a newly formed star. It appears that objects of any size can be formed this way, not just stars and brown dwarfs. To the limits of our ability to see, we are finding smaller and smaller objects that are planet-sized, even Moon-sized, but formed in a completely different environment. We can only see them shortly after they form, while they are still radiating with the heat of collapse.

So size, mass and orbit may turn out to be not so useful in classifying objects as stars or planets. The process by which they formed looks like it will turn out to be the more meaningful way to classify them.

Re:But we'll starve!! (1)

sharkey (16670) | more than 13 years ago | (#479131)

You left out Earth. As denizens of a non-existant planet, the Earthlings really have no need to care what their mother is feeding them.


Re:Wow... (1)

Electric Angst (138229) | more than 13 years ago | (#479132)

You know, I'm constantly getting replies about my sig. I've wanted to change it for a while now (I'm sitting at around +49 right now anyways, and I think the sig got enough visibility to make a point...) The problem is, I want to wait 'till the replies that have quoted my sig archive, so that people won't look back at it and go "what were they smoking!" Of course, the problem is, I can't seem to go long enough without posting, or without a reply concerning my sig...

Also, how long does a post that takes you down six points deactivate your account for? Who's had this happen before?

Re:And in related news... (2)

frantzdb (22281) | more than 13 years ago | (#479134)

Similarly, Europe? Eurasia may be a continent but Europe is a social abstraction.


Re:What's in a name?? (1)

SuperMallen (156287) | more than 13 years ago | (#479135)

The first idea that popped into my head was that a planet is anything that's hard for me to jump off of. If I leap into the "air" and come straight back down, I'm on a planet. Unless, of course, it's in orbit around a different planet, in which case it's a moon.

Do any moons have moons? Or does the physics of planets and moons prevent that sort of thing? Any astronomers or phsyicists wanna jump in on that one?

no definitions are applicable right now (1)

daemous (43293) | more than 13 years ago | (#479136)

Come on, what's the criteria for a planet? Oh, you don't have anything scientific? Oh, you just want publicity because you just opened for business?

All previous definitions went out the window a couple weeks ago when they found that planet which was so large, it was previously thought impossible to attain.

Sure the Oort cloud has plenty of moon-sized comets. Sure other things orbit the sun along the same plane and in nicely padded mostly non-overlapping elliptical orbits.

I'm not one to grand-father in a scientific fact, but jeeze, leave Pluto alone until you've got a reasonable and accepted definition.

Re:And in related news... (2)

RedWizzard (192002) | more than 13 years ago | (#479137)

No. Australia is a continent. The definition of a continent is fairly arbitrary, but basically it means a large, continous mass of land. According to the Encyclopaedia Britannica the continents are North America, South America, Africa, Antartica, Australia, Asia, and Europe. Asia and Europe are sometimes combined into the single continent Eurasia. While Australia is often considered an island, it is four times larger than the next biggest (non-continental) island, Greenland.

pluto details (2)

drDugan (219551) | more than 13 years ago | (#479139)

Pluto a dog????


Planet Pluto is the coolest and most far out planet in the Solar System. Pluto was known as the god of the dead in Roman mythology. The Romans sometimes called him Dis Pater or Orcus, and the Greeks sometimes called him Pluton. Pluto was also known as Hades, the Greek god of the dead. The Romans borrowed almost all the myths and legends about Pluto and his affiliation the the underworld that he ruled from the Greeks.

And in related news... (4)

autocracy (192714) | more than 13 years ago | (#479141)

Australia is no longer a continent, it has instead been demoted to an island!

My karma's bigger than yours!

This is a bit of a change. (1)

amnesty (69314) | more than 13 years ago | (#479144)

Usually all the hype is about possible brand new planets being discovered. But I guess it's not 'cool' to be like the crowd... it's 'in' to be a rebel... and so Pluto gets demoted.

Re:a large comet (1)

charon.de (56210) | more than 13 years ago | (#479159)

large enough to keep its own moon

Thanks, actually it's more a kind of double planet system, as the central point they both turn around, is far away from plutos center.

The name of the moon is my /. account - .de (silly me that I don't got the domain as I could), it's athough the name of a ferryman in an acient greek story, the one who gets the dead people over this river called sticks...

Re:Planet definition (2)

krlynch (158571) | more than 13 years ago | (#479160)

Your definition probably won't fly, as there are a number of asteroids (Ceres comes to mind) that are large enough to be drawn into a spheroid by their own self-gravity.

Planet X (1)

lowflying (252232) | more than 13 years ago | (#479162)

Back in 1996, Planet X [christinelavin.com] by Christine Lavin was the first song I heard with a URL in the lyrics.

"And in the year 2003 you're going to see the NASA Pluto Express fly by and take pictures of your way cool surface to send to this web page address: h t t p colon slash slash d o s x x dot colorado dot edu slash plutohome dot h t m l [colorado.edu] You've got your own web page! For a little guy, you've made quite a splash!"

The NASA scientists I was working for at the time, explained to me that the real issue in planetary status was not size or location, but how and when Pluto was formed. Which was why they were very excited about the Pluto/Kuiper Express mission, which has now been put on hold.


Re:new acronyms (1)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | more than 13 years ago | (#479164)

I'm not sure where I heard this (probably NY Times), but replace "My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nine Pizzas" with "My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Noodles".


swordgeek (112599) | more than 13 years ago | (#479165)

I mean, who are these losers? How many AUs is Neil Tyson's head up his ass?

OK, so I'm not being polite. I'm sick and fucking tired of people (especially educators and scientists) who should know better declaring whatever they damned well feel like, regardless of the facts.

Here then are some facts that deserve to be spread and repeated, until they replace the incorrect versions.

FACT: Pluto is a planet. The INTERNATIONAL Astronomical Union (not some fucking museum in the US) says so.

FACT: The 13th element on the periodic table is aluminium, not aluminum. IUPAC has confirmed it time and time again, regardless of what the bloody ACS says.

FACT: A meter is a device. A metre is a unit of measure.

And so on.


That's just perfect (1)

fawadhalim (83939) | more than 13 years ago | (#479166)

First they have Pluto living outside in a dog house while Goofy, who's a dog too, gets to sit in a cozy living room. Now this?

Seems there's no respect for Plutos any more.

GNU/Pluto (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#479167)

This wouldn't have happened if Clyde Tombaugh had open-sourced Pluto and acknowledged RMS' contributions!

Anonymous Kev

Proudly posting as an AC since 1997

Thanks, PhatBGone! (4)

Colz Grigor (126123) | more than 13 years ago | (#479169)

Pluto No Longer a Planet-- Disney Company Proud of Efforts

Kissimmee, Florida-- After many months of exercising and maintaining a healthy diet, Pluto, the loveable dog of Mickey Mouse, has finally met his goal weight. "He struggled with it for a while, at first," says his proud and famous owner, "but cutting his intake of doggie treats has brought him back down to an acceptable weight."
"We look forward to seeing him act in movies again," Mickey's girlfriend, Minnie, added. And so do we all...

::Colz Grigor

Who's care ! (1)

denisbergeron (197036) | more than 13 years ago | (#479170)

The same who care when theses articles wheres releases on /.

http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=01/01/22/144223 0&mode=thread

http://slashdot.org/articles/99/01/19/0928238_F.sh tml

Always same subject ! Something new... Never except for IT (Ginger)

Next thing you know . . . (1)

Goronguer (223202) | more than 13 years ago | (#479171)

Some group will try to assert that Greenland isn't really a continent.

Wait. Greenland isn't a continent??? But it looks so much bigger than Australia on my map!!!

Seriously, it doesn't matter if people call it a planet or not. It's still there, and it will continue to orbit the sun for the forseeable future. This is not news.

How do i get that kind of Authority? (2)

Wiggin (97119) | more than 13 years ago | (#479172)

When i was younger (im still in my early 20s) there were only 4 food groups, now there are 5. There were 9 planets, now only 8. How can i get the authority to split food groups or demote planets?
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