Friday, August 25, 2006

Everything you know is WRONG...
Especially if you're a freakazoid who studies the solar system. Like me...

The world of astronomy was literally turned upside-down a coupla days back when we were all mercilessly informed that the planet PLUTO is no longer a planet! The argument has to do with Pluto's orbit around the sun. While all the other planets orbit the sun on an even plane, Pluto has an elliptical orbit that is both above and below the plane of all the other planets. Because that orbit is elliptical, and not a "circle", that means half the time, Pluto is closer to the Sun than Neptune. But the other half of the time, Pluto is farther away from the Sun than Neptune. Pluto takes a grand total of 248 years to revolve around the sun, substantially longer than Neptune's orbital time. Which also means an 80-year old man on earth would be a little more than 1/3rd of a year old on Pluto. File that information! You may need it someday. Or not.

Why can't people just leave well-enough alone? Why mess with the system? For 124 years at a time, Pluto IS the furthest planet from the sun. That's longer than anyone LIVES. So, WHO CARES? My argument is, that Pluto is a PLANET...it has its own Moon, after all. Pluto's orbit does not revolve around any of the other planets; it revolves around the SUN like the rest of the planets do! In the length of its orbit, it covers MORE miles than does Neptune, its closest neighbor. And, Pluto was discovered long ago by Clyde Tombaugh in 1930 when he noted that "something out there" was affecting the orbit of Neptune, some gravitational force that was altering Neptune's orbit. Little Pluto was BIG enough to affect Giant Neptune! If Pluto can be big enough to alter Neptune's orbit, I say Pluto's a PLANET. Another reason Pluto was de-classified was because, according to new scientist lingo, it was "not the dominant object in its region of space". Yet it was BIG enough to alter the orbit of a BIG, BIG planet!

When you're talking about millions and billions of miles away from the sun, things get a little crazy. Mercury, the nearest planet to the sun (and, in size, similar to Pluto) can't HELP but orbit the sun in an almost-perfect circle, just because it is so doggone close to the sun! Where the heck else could it go? But at the other end of the spectrum, Pluto has billions and zillions of miles to play with. Scientists speculate that Pluto was just innocuously drifting by, way out there in space, when the Sun captured it. Just as the Sun captured ALL THE OTHER PLANETS. Pluto is a PLANET, doggone it! It's orbit just happens to be a little bit messed up, that's all.

Ahhh, the ramifications of Pluto's re-definition will have wide-ranging effects on almost every level of society.. new science textbooks will have to be printed. Kids who learned the names of all the planets in the Solar System will now have to re-adjust their thinking. The world as we know it has come to an end. What's next? Will Saturn and Jupiter not be considered large planets anymore, because those spheres are nothing but a lot of GAS with a small solid core at the center (as one theory espouses)? Maybe ALL of the planets aren't "planets" AT ALL...instead, they could be classified as "circular-revolving giant ASTEROIDS". Wouldn't that make sense? After all, Pluto has now been re-classified as a "dwarf planet". Does that mean Mercury is also a "dwarf planet?" Mercury is so close to the sun, that it isn't the dominant "force" in its region of space, the SUN is.

Now I may sound like a raving idiot here (I resemble that remark), but the article which has my dandruff up here also contained remarks from those who disagree with Pluto's removal from the planetary ranks; one scientist remarked, "this ain't over, it's bad science." I don't know if it's necessarily BAD science, but I'm kinda thinking it's UNNECESSARY science! But I'm tellin' ya, the effects of this decision will be felt far and wide...

Oh, the scientific community is treading upon dangerous ground here. So in addition to planets, we now have "dwarf" planets. So what do you call a planet that is larger than a dwarf, but not as big as, say, a "huge" planet? After all, Earth is a "dwarf" compared to Neptune. And Neptune is only a "medium-sized" planet when compared to Jupiter. But Jupiter is almost all gas except in its very center, so is it a "huge" planet, or a "large dwarf" planet? (a small rock surrounded by icky gaseous matter...) So in the future, we'll have "semi-large" planets, "large dwarf" planets, "somewhere-in-between semi-large and large dwarf planets", "exceptionally huge small-large planets", and so on and so forth. In short, like the character Maurice said once on the old Northern Exposure TV show, "it's awfully hard to put the genie back in the bottle once you've let him out."

I was just about to end this post when I thought of something. You know how people who don't "fit in" with the rest of society are treated? They're given labels, they're sneered at unmercifully, they're made fun of and made to feel bad because of their differences from the rest of society. It happens every day. Everywhere. In all situations. I can't help but think this has now happened to small, ultra-cold, extra-desolate, sad, forlorn Pluto. Me, I've got a bottle of 7-up right here by my computer. So I'm gonna drink a toast to Pluto, and you're invited too...no matter how "different" you may be...
___________________

"Here's to Pluto"
...a planetary meditation...


The scientists gave it the boot, oh
And now it is absolute-oh...
It's not big enough
And it's orbit is rough
I'm sad for poor little Pluto.

3 Comments:

Blogger Jinx said...

No comments on this post except that now I guess I'll have to learn a new sentence to remember the planets
My Velvet Eyes makes Josh Sad until November. or something like that. lol

1:32 PM  
Blogger Katrina said...

Many Vexed Episcopal Ministers Just Saw Us Naked?

I miss you already, Pluto.

4:18 PM  
Blogger little ol' me said...

Hi, Ms. Jinx and Ms. Kat...I never ever used one of those "alphabet things" to memorize the planets. I love looking at pix of planets and just kinda letting my mind drift into planetary fantasy...so I am a space case. It doesn't make any difference one way or another if Pluto is a planet or not, but think of all the expense involved in Pluto's declassification. Not only are all the science books gonna hafta be rewritten, but how much money was spent on salaries, expenses, etc. in the act of determining Pluto's identity? I wouldn't be surprised if the federal government was behind all of this. Oh, the conspiracy-theorist-wackos are gonna have fun with this. Okay, I'll supply mine own little alphabet-thing...

Mysterious Vernacular Exemplifies Many Jumbled Statements, Ultimately NONSENSE! Yep, I like that one...

9:39 PM  

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