mabfan (Michael A. Burstein) (mabfan) wrote,
mabfan (Michael A. Burstein)

What Happened to Pluto? - Talk by Owen Gingerich (Cambridge, MA)

[Cross-posted from savepluto]

While we here at the Society for the Preservation of Pluto as a Planet continue our planning for an upcoming announcement, it has come to our attention that there is an event next week that we would like to encourage our supporters in the Boston area to attend.

Next Thursday night, Owen Gingerich, the chair of the Planetary Definition Committee who did his best to keep Pluto designated as a planet, will be speaking at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. We've extracted the following description of the talk from their schedule at

September 21
What Happened to Pluto? Owen Gingerich, CfA
In 2005, astronomers found an object bigger than Pluto in the outer solar system and nicknamed it "Xena." That discovery brought a simmering controversy to a head. Was "Xena" the 10th planet? What is a planet, anyway? Should Pluto qualify, considering how tiny and distant it is? Either "Xena" and Pluto were both in, or they were both out. After heated debate, astronomers decided that they were both out, leaving just eight planets in our solar system. At this lecture, you will get the scoop from Owen Gingerich, the man who was caught between a rock and a hard place as chair of the planet definition committee. He will explain what happened behind the scenes - What Happened to Pluto.

The talk begins at 7:30 PM but doors open at 7 PM and seating is on a first-come, first-serve basis.

The President and Vice-President of Society for the Preservation of Pluto as a Planet plan on attending, and we were hoping that more SP3 members might show up as well, perhaps carrying small signs that read Save Pluto! or Pluto Is A Planet! We want to show Professor Gingerich how much we appreciated his efforts. If you're thinking of attending as a Pluto-supporter, by all means reply to this message and let us know!

And if you want to show your support for Professor Gingerich in other ways, and also read a really cool book in the process, consider picking up a copy of his latest book, God's Universe. Maybe he'll autograph it after the lecture if you ask nicely.

Pluto Is A Planet!
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Tags: astronomy, pluto, science, space

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