Monday, August 28, 2006

Pluto, I mourn thee

So I was initially bummed out by removing Pluto from the mix of planets. I thought of all the literature and such that would need be rewritten and foudn heart that the web has become very integrated in peoples lives and all it takes is a slight change to wikipedia to change the web's encyclopedia entry.

It is probably best for astronomy as a whole to define planets and other heavenly bodies. Why didn't they do this before? Did they just say, "Hey, you are a planet." I just don't know, maybe Matches can enlighten me. I just have to ask though is where my class M or class O planets are? Why not borrow Star Trek and start classifying all heavenly bodies? Maybe they are and I am not into that scene enough to know it.


John Knight said...

I don't mourn it at all. After all, this is Science!!! Now, sure there's enough wishy washyness in there already, but the point of science is to REMOVE the wishy and the washy where we can. Now.. frankly I'm happy they've stuck it to the old 9th planet.... er big space rock, formerly known as a planet. The better the definition, the easier it is to say, what is what. Oh.. and for the explanation of the STAR TREK planet classfications.. go here:
PS. Nice to see you when you were in MI.

Reverend0 said...

Thanks for the link!

My mourning is for a simplicity of definition then. It would simply be nicer to say:

if (estimated_mass > threshold_of_planet) then {return planet;}

At one time it was just we have 8 errr 9 planets. On the plus side, having 8 planets makes for an even byte-wise storage :)

Anonymous said...

andy sez:

There are very few actual scientists out there doing real science (applying the scientific method to better understand natural phenomena). Most are bottle washers and button sorters. Any "scientists" that have the time to spend a week arguing about whether some chunk of rock goes in the "planet" bin, or the "asteroid" bin, or the "snarfnu" bin should retire. Now.