2 comments August 24th, 2006at 09:47pm Posted by Eli
Pluto has been sent down.
It was only a matter of time.
Small body, never got hot, kind of distant.
Astronomers made the decision at their version of the winter meetings, the International Astronomical Union in Prague. The news was announced to inhabitants of our own planet on Thursday, possibly the biggest news story in our lives (think about it) but a crushing blow to the hopes and dreams of the little guy.
Pluto is now officially a “dwarf planet”…. Relatively speaking, it only had a cup of coffee in the big leagues. It was discovered in 1930 by a birds-eye scout named Clyde Tombaugh. But Pluto had its chances, coming back year after year just like a Major League Baseball season.
It could never be Mercury, leading off and constantly hot. Venus was all about love and self-sacrifice, a natural 2 spot in the order. Earth, the prototypical No. 3 hitter, the ultimate fantasy pick, the people’s choice. Mars, the oft-feared big red machine. Jupiter always had the sweet spot in the lineup. Having Saturn in the order always meant a ring. Uranus, always the team prankster and playing jokes to keep it fun.
Year after year, Pluto tried to leap past Neptune at the end of the order. Because of its eccentric orbit, Pluto actually was able to reach closer to the sun than Neptune during a portion of its orbit. But again and again, Neptune, the savvy veteran (discovered in 1846), would deny the kid. Pluto never really had a legitimate chance.
Pluto, it’s been nice knowing you. The former planet will now hang out with its closest friend, and moon, Charon. They’re sure to forever spin yarns about how Pluto once played in the bigs.
Crikey. Who thought that was a good idea? They called Mars “the big red machine,” fachrissake!