January 10, 2009
The Pluto Debate Rages On
Check out Kenneth Chang's post on Pluto for TierneyLab; he raises an interesting question about whether Earth would be considered a planet if it were located way out by Pluto. (Also, check out his linked post about The Pluto Files, written by Neil deGrasse Tyson, the curator of the American Museum of Natural History. Apparently he stopped calling Pluto a planet in his exhibits in 2000, six years before the International Astronomical Union reached the same conclusion.) Anyway, I guess a lot of people have something to say about this issue: look for upcoming titles Where Did Pluto Go?: A Beginner's Guide to Understanding the "New" Solar System by Paul Sutherland, a beautiful illustrated guide, and Pluto Confidential: An Insider Account of the Ongoing Battles over the Status of Pluto by Laurence A. Marschall, an astronomer who voted for the IAU resolution, and Stephen P. Maran, a NASA scientist who's against it. I say it's all semantics; let's look at some awesome pictures of last night's perigee moon instead of argue.