Tuesday, August 22, 2006


From the SPACE.com "Senior Science Writer," we learn of the "wild week" spent by astronomers, as they debated once-and-for-all the definition of the term "planet," and whether Pluto qualifies.

No, this one's a real story.

I can't decide whether to file this one under, "How Many Astronomers Can Dance On The Surface Of An Asteroid?" or "How Cool Is It To Be So Geeky That This Type Of Thing Is Fun?" And I'm not joking, I really can't make up my mind. Look back through some of my posts: I actually spend time thinking about who's the best player in baseball through half a season; or whether evolution is aided or impeded by human interference; or if celebrity worship is a cause or an effect in our culture. I like this type of thing.


So, in acknowledgement of my agnosticism on the topic, I'll defer to regular reader & commenter, DED, of the Dedly Blog. According to him:
And you may have heard about the big planet classification debate going on at the International Astronomers Union (IAU). What does this mean to the average person? Absolutely nothing. Really, it's not important at all and I'm a space enthusiast. While I think Ceres should remain an asteroid and Pluto should remain a planet, it's all semantics in the grand scheme of things. And the debate won't end here. When the New Horizons spacecraft arrives at Pluto in 2015 and we get to see the first ever pictures of that world and it's moon/companion, Charon, the debate should flare anew. But the debate is moot. So long as we're "grounded" here on Earth, how we categorize these distant places means nothing. When we're finally colonizing these other worlds we can debate their relative "planet-ness" then.
(Emphasis added). So there you have it, straight from the musings of a man who cares. The verdict: this one goes in the "How Many Astronomers Can Dance On The Surface Of An Asteroid?" Files. Got an argument? Take it to DED.


Blogger DED said...

Sweet! I've been quoted in someone else's blog!

10:21 AM  
Anonymous Mike said...

. . . and then the bad news: it's my blog you've been quoted in.

An association you'll never outrun, I'm afraid.

10:29 AM  
Blogger DED said...

Are you kidding? If the diversity of your commenters is any indication of your blog's traffic, then you have far more readers than I do. I've got 4.

3:36 PM  
Blogger Weaseldog said...

Mike is into shameless self promotion.

"And that's a good thing." - Martha Stewart

4:30 PM  
Anonymous Mike said...

Jeez! Look at this. Promoting other's websites and still I'm accused of self-promotion, shameless even.

I mean, it's true, but even so . . .

And, please re-read my "Blogrules," Weas. I believe "no Martha references" is clearly included under Rule 4 (b) (vii).

4:40 PM  

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