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Issue 12
Fall 2006

Helping America procrastinate since 1636

October 24, 2020
 
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Pluto iz so a planet No it’s not, Dogg

Snoop Dogg

Pluto iz so a planet, yo. You wanna tell my 3rd grader and every textbook in the world that they gots to redizzle the solar sizzle just cuz some old dudes and maybe one lady said so at a meeting in Prague? That ain't right. That's just bad astrofizzo.

And besides, they just discovered Pluto has 2 new moons! Now maybe I smoked a little too much hizzle dizzle back in the fizzle dizzle, but when you gots as many moons as I got jzoints ready to go, you iz a planet, fo shizzle.

So for reals now, Clyde Tombaugh spotted the thing back in nineteen thirty 'fo or something. Fucking wit' old ass shit only means trouble. Grandfatha tha muthafucka in. That's all I gots to say.


Eminem

Pluto is clearly just the largest, brightest, closest, Kuiper belt object, which accounts for its early detection. It lacks the gravitational radius to sweep out material intersecting its own orbit, and it only holds onto its atmosphere for a small part of its journey arond the sun. If we included objects like Pluto, which are merely large enough to become spherical under their own gravity, then we would need to add upwards of two hundred new objects to the list of planets. In my professional opinion, this would rob the definition of the word “planet” of most of its explanatory power.

In some sense, all such definitions are arbitrary, and as scientists, we have to draw the line somewhere. We simply can't let our own personal historical bias get in the way of much needed progressive advances in astrophysical nomenclature.  HSP 




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