Atom Wave: August 2006

Atom Wave

Thursday, August 31, 2006

The Decline of Pluto

Darkstar will let Pluto comment on its recent reclassification.

From Pluto

I am at a loss as to the decline of our relationship. After 76 years, your astronomers have decided to demote me to a dwarf planet. Now I must admit that out here in the frozen rim of the solar system, I don’t care very much. The thing that bothers me is the somewhat arbitrary definition that you choose to redefine me as a dwarf.
Your new definition of a planet or dwarf planet is dependent upon a vague category known as the cleanliness of the neighborhood; if two orbital bodies cross the same radial distance and their non-resonant periods differ by less than an order of magnitude. The last part is intended to exclude comets from the definition.
Anyway, your new definition is left with an annoying hole that I just don’t respect. Your own beloved Earth along with Mars, Jupiter, and Neptune has also not cleared the neighborhood either. Earth alone has more than 10,000 near earth asteroids. Jupiter’s path crosses more than 100,000 Trojan asteroids. I am a planet and I will not accept your new definition.