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And the Pluto Debate Is Getting Fierce...

As also noted on savepluto, things are getting heated over at the IAU General Assembly...

From Battle of the planet definitions heats up (New Scientist Space):

Of the hundreds of astronomers present, however, a majority opposed the new resolutions, which just like the original definition would admit many new bodies to the rank of planet. If the straw poll taken at the meeting reflects the real voting on Thursday, the resolutions will we thrown out, and there will be no definition at all....

Later, when more questions were prevented, there was a cry of: "If there is democracy, listen to the questions. Let the people speak!" And feathers were further ruffled when planet committee member Richard Binzel of MIT told the delegates: "You can vote based on physics, or maybe you have some preconceived idea of what a planet should be."


Dark horizons for Pluto

On the other hand, all may not be lost, unofficially. Don't forget that this is the country where polls say half the population still thinks Saddam Hussein had a hand in 9/11*, so chances are even if the scientific community says declares Pluto is not a planet, then 76 years from now most people will still be ignoring that.

*This is before George Bush's latest press conference a few days ago in which he said that Hussein had nothing to do with 9/11. But then again, Cheney, Rice, and Powell had all already said that before, and people still think it's true, so there ya go.

Re: Dark horizons for Pluto

But to be honest, I'd rather people not continue to consider Pluto a planet out of ignorance.

Also, don't forget that I work in science textbook publishing. If Pluto's status changes, we have a lot of work to do...

December 2016

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