Pluto Power

Everyone once in a while, there is a story that just makes me angry. This is one of those.
bq.Pluto, beloved by some as a cosmic underdog but scorned by astronomers who considered it too dinky and distant, was unceremoniously stripped of its status as a planet Thursday. The International Astronomical Union, dramatically reversing course just a week after floating the idea of reaffirming Pluto’s planethood and adding three new planets to Earth’s neighborhood, downgraded the ninth rock from the sun in historic new galactic guidelines. – “William J. Kole(Dinky Pluto Loses Its Status as Planet)”: Some of us are not going to take this lying down. If we allow this self-appointed group of space cadets to do this, who knows there they will stop? Fortunately, the outcry is growing.
bq.It’s an awful definition; it’s sloppy science and it would never pass peer review – for two reasons. Firstly, it is impossible and contrived to put a dividing line between dwarf planets and planets. It’s as if we declared people not people for some arbitrary reason, like ‘they tend to live in groups’. Secondly, the actual definition is even worse, because it’s inconsistent. – “Alan Stern(Pluto vote hijacked in revolt)”: And the battle has just begun.
bq.I believe the IAU’s vote could conceivably stifle the imagination of those of us who still wonder at the glories of our solar system, and who reach for the stars. And I hope that in 2009, when the IAU meets again in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, they will reconsider the vote that they have taken today in Prague. – “Michael A. Burstein(Pluto’s Demotion: My Initial Response)”: So “join the movement(Pluto is a Planet!)”: and “show your support(Pluto T-Shirts and Gifts)”: I can tell you that my library is not going to be rushing to buy “any new astronomy books(Textbook publishers grapple with Pluto demotion)”: for now.