Look, Sir! Nerds!

Well, it's official: Pluto has been downgraded. The once noble dog is now a puppy, and the odd little planet that was, is now just an orbiting "dwarf" or "minor planet", according to an astronomy symposium consisting of 2,500 scientists from over 75 countries. Well, at least they have a sense of humor...

"It could be argued that we are creating an umbrella called 'planet' under which the dwarf planets exist," she said, drawing laughter by waving a stuffed Pluto of Walt Disney fame beneath a real umbrella.

But alas, their nerd-dom could not be avoided...

Now, two of the objects that at one point were cruising toward possible full-fledged planethood will join Pluto as dwarfs: the asteroid Ceres, which was a planet in the 1800s before it got demoted, and 2003 UB313, an icy object slightly larger than Pluto whose discoverer, Michael Brown of the California Institute of Technology, has nicknamed "Xena."

The rest of the story can be found here.

Posted by Nasa Nerd at August 24, 2006 08:00 AM | TrackBack