Look, I am as much in favor of scientific and technical precision in terminology as the next guy, but scientists should learn something from lawyers: a terminology that confuses more than it clarifies has failed in its function. In law, we have both what is called a Rule of Adverse possession (which states that if a squatter is in open, notorious, unchallenged and continuous possession for 20 years, he gets title) and a thing called the Grandfather Clause ( which allows that rights under the previous statute cannot be lost when the statute is amended). In other words, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
While there is nothing wrong with a definition of ‘minor planets’ that identifies smaller and eccentric bodies like Sedna or Ceres, Pluto has been a planet since 1930.
It is an Ex Post Facto law to strip it of its dignity; I would call it unconstitutional! I am an American, so I say, let’s put together a class action suit and sue on behalf of Pluto. (If the plaintiffs in ACLU v NSA have standing, anyone has standing to sue on any hypothetical case).
Now, if the international conference of scientists with too much time on their hands wanted to rename the body from Pluto, to, say, YUGGOTH, that would be cool.
I’m with John C. Wright on this. This is pure discrimination we should at least make Pluto an honorary Planet. Why hasn’t the Pluto Deformation League responded to this ‘minor planet’ slander? This is demotion without probable cause. I am tempted to join with Dale and become an Old Solorist.
That describes my view of the new planet-counting proposal offered at the International Astronomy Union’s General Assembly this week.
If it passes, I hereby declare I will become an Old Solarist, and acknowledge nine–and only nine–planets.
Twelve is right out.
Henceforth, anyone who tries to call Ceres a planet or makes reference to "plutons" will be cast into the outer darkness (a/k/a the Oort Cloud).
So let it be written, so let it be done.
First them came for Pluto, but I did not speak out because I was not a Plutonian. What planet is next on this solar system size slippery astronomical slope?