Thursday, June 12, 2008

A little respect for poor Pluto

I have to admit that when Pluto lost its planet status in 2006, I was bummed. Learning the order of the planets in our solar system was a cornerstone of my early interest in science. I'd always loved Venus (dreamy) and Saturn (cool rings), kinda dug Neptune (blue), and really didn't think much about Pluto if truth be told. But it WAS a planet. And then, unceremoniously, it wasn't.

So a small thumbs up to the International Astronomical Union, which decreed on Wednesday that the term "plutoid" would now apply to dwarf planets beyond the orbit of Neptune. There's only one other, Eris, for which I now coin the nickname "The Plutoid Formerly Known as Xena." Because that's what it is.

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