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August 14, 2006

Astronomers Conspire To Steal Pluto's Status As Planet

Under New Definitions, Pluto Will Likely Be Downgraded To A Mere "Trans-Neputunian Object," Whereas 14 Other Bodies Will Become "Planets"

Goodbye, Pluto; Hello, Object 2003 UB313:

Pluto may no longer be classified as a planet following a debate by astronomers at the International Astronomical Union.

Roughly 3,000 astronomers and scientists are meeting in Prague this week for the union and are expected to determine whether Pluto is a planet under newly defined terms.

The planet, which was first discovered in 1930 and is the farthest away from the sun, is considerably smaller than the other eight planets in our solar system.

By defining exactly what a planet is, scientists could be forced to downgrade Pluto's status and promote 14 other bodies.

Larger bodies than Pluto have been discovered at the edge of the solar system, including a rocky object known officially as 2003 UB313 that was identified by Professor Mike Brown at the California Institute of Technology.

The object has been measured by the Hubble space telescope as having a diameter of 1,490 miles, beating Pluto's diameter by roughly 70 miles.


"Pluto is not worthy of being called just a plain planet," said Alan Boss, an astrophysicist at the Carnegie Institution in Washington, DC.

"But it's perfectly fine as an ice dwarf planet or a historical planet."

And who's behind this crafty attempt to strip Pluto of its historical status as the plucky little period at the end of the solar sentence?

That's right. You Know Who. Probably so they could sell us more styrofoam balls and paint when we have to re-do all of our old second-grade shoebox dioramas.

Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Object 2003 UB313... great. It just flows.

Thanks to George.

More Funny From Readers: Bumperstickerist--

Dr. Michael Brown seems a bit Creativity Impaired. UB313? jeesh.

Were I to discover a planet I'd name it Planet www.GoldenPalace.Com and
start raking in that sweet, sweet astronomy money.

digg this
posted by Ace at 11:12 AM

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