Is Pluto a Planet?

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That I have time on my hands sufficient to care whether Pluto is classified as a planet, Kuiper Belt Object (KBO), dwarf planet, Trans-Neptunian Object (TNO) or something else, indicates that I have no life. Or not much of one. I accept that.
In 2006, the International Astronomical Union, a global group of astronomy experts, established a definition of a planet that required it to “clear” its orbit, or in other words, be the largest gravitational force in its orbit.
Since Neptune’s gravity influences its neighboring planet Pluto, and Pluto shares its orbit with frozen gases and objects in the Kuiper belt, that meant Pluto was out of planet status.
Pluto ‘enthusiasts’ say that, “It’s more dynamic and alive than Mars,” or “Pluto only planet that has more complex geology is the Earth.”
Since we don’t know that much about Jupiter or Saturn, I think that’s advocating for Pluto a bit too hard.

An example of a current argument made by people like me who have way too much time on their hands and take themselves way too seriously: “We showed that this is a false historical claim,” Runyon said. “It is therefore fallacious to apply the same reasoning to Pluto,” he said. Metzger said that the definition of a planet should be based on its intrinsic properties, rather than ones that can change, such as the dynamics of a planet’s orbit. “Dynamics are not constant, they are constantly changing,” Metzger said. “So, they are not the fundamental description of a body, they are just the occupation of a body at a current era.”

Journal Reference:
Philip T. Metzger, Mark V. Sykes, Alan Stern, Kirby Runyon. The Reclassification of Asteroids from Planets to Non-Planets. Icarus, 2018; DOI: 10.1016/j.icarus.2018.08.026
It may require the arrival of space aliens (who are generally accepted as smarter than Earthlings) to put this issue to rest once and for all.
But until then —  Pluto, has an underground ocean, a multilayer atmosphere, organic compounds, evidence of ancient lakes and multiple moons, and it has enough gravity to be round. Pluto is interesting and THAT is why I think that Earth scientists need to revisit their re-classification of  the PLANET.

Good Business – Do alien bugs want to buy AK-47’s? No, it doesn’t have anything to do with Pluto unless there are alien bugs living on Pluto…who want to buy AK-47’s. Earth has a space force now. I leave the fine distinctions of interplanetary weapons trafficking for them to solve.

34 thoughts on “Is Pluto a Planet?

  1. Jupiter has been called a failed star, too small to ignite, so is it a planet or not? Good question that's above my pay grade. Alien bugs? I understand that they prefer a phased plasma rifle in the 40 watt range.

  2. I vote yes because "My Very Excellent Mother Just Served Us NOTHING" doesn't sound as good without Pluto. No really, I think Pluto may be small, but its complex environment makes it worthy enough to be included in the solar system family. It should never have been excluded in the first place.

  3. A minute anomoly in the orbit of the gas giant Neptune resulted
    in the search for Planet X. That led to the discovery of Pluto
    in 1930 by Clyde Tombaugh, an amateur astronomer and employee
    of the Lowell Observatory in Arizona. I would say that if
    Pluto had enough mass to screw with the orbit of Neptune, it
    is a planet!

  4. I for one, would welcome another planet so long as it keeps to itself. We don't want it sliding down the gravity well into the Sun, messing things up as it goes.

  5. Only terminators (from Earth's future) prefer a phased plasma rifle in the 40 watt range. Or at least that was my understanding.

    With the discovery and scientific inquiry into MANY hundreds of exoplanets there may be new theories about Jupiter, but I like the failed star explanation as well as any other. It's really big, it has a big gravity footprint and it scoops up comets and asteroids on their way 'in' (see: Comet Shoemaker Levy 9) that might cause mischief.

  6. Everybody thought that Pluto was just a rock – until we visited the place and it turned out to be worth a return trip. How like life? Great place to visit, wouldn't want to live there.

  7. Custer was outmatched at the Little Big Horn during the Great Sioux War of 1876, both in numbers and in firepower because many of the Indians/First Nation/Native Americans/etc. had repeating rifles. Now if he'd brought the Gatling guns?

    The same was true of the British Expedition to suppress the uprising in Natal (Africa) three years later. Merchants sold the Africans rifles, which were used against British troops at the Battle of Isandlwana on 22 January 1879. They scooped up Martini Henry rifles from the destroyed regiment and tried to use them the next day. Their tactics were less than stellar against just over 150 British and colonial troops, who successfully defended the garrison against an intense assault by 3,000 to 4,000 Zulu warriors. The massive but piecemeal Zulu attacks on Rorke's Drift came very close to defeating the much smaller garrison, but were ultimately repelled.

    I would hope that people who might wish to sell space bugs AK-47's would take a page from history. But if history is any lesson, nobody will read it and they'll make the same mistakes.

  8. LL, the question is whether Pluto should be considered a planet, not whether we'd like to live there. Except for Earth, we can't live on any of the other planets in the solar system either. I LOVE my local library, but I wouldn't want to live there.

  9. What Leonard Jones said above, is a good example of why Pluto should be reconsidered for planet-status. Big enough, and close enough, to affect some of the other planets.

    I vote for planet-hood based on Pluto's orbital range. It is closer than other large Kuiper-belt objects. Range, it's all about the range.

    On the other hand, maybe the scientists-big brains realized they screwed the pooch, so to speak, by sending out Voyagers with 9 planets enscribed on their golden disks, thinking any aliens would be friendly and interested in Amway and having money deposited in their bank accounts by Nigerian Princes. Further research into bad aliens (why bad? Who else would buy AK-47s when they could buy M4geries and AR-15ishes?) obviously showed that changing the number of planets in all world-wide communications and databanks would confuse AK-47 seeking bad aliens, so, poof, the conspiracy of 'all aliens good' was overridden and we are all now safe from alien invasion.

  10. I think that TECHNICALLY we might be able to build a tin can to put you in and shoot you to Pluto. We might also be able to smuggle you some AK-47's to trade with the local giant bugs. However, it would be a one way trip, so I suggest that we send politicians into space instead of you.

  11. Why would we have a Space Force if there weren't bad aliens trying to sneak onto the planet to influence our way of life. The fact that they usually land in Central Park in New York City speaks volumes about the bad judgment of space aliens who run the risk of being mugged. If they landed in San Francisco, they'd have to make their way past rivers of urine and piles of poop, and if the residents are any indication, they landed there years ago.

  12. Indeed he is. I thought about mentioning that but I didn't. Goofy is a dog too and it is only fair if we name the next planet that we find, "Goofy". It's matter of K-9 political correctness.

  13. I think we should name the Space Force "Team America"… F**K yeah! And AK 47's won't do if we can have phasers.

  14. That is a question for those a lot smarter than the average bear (which I am – average).

  15. They don't believe we're worth bothering with.

    We're just too "different" for them….

  16. I liked that video because it shows LL wearing a Fez, Rat Claw Rubio at the diner counter pretending to read a newspaper, he's a subtle one, and a shiftless unemployed Obama in the booth behind LL.

    Good work!

  17. I think that we need to incorporate the uniform that I wore in the video as the Dallas Light Cavalry (Irregular) Mess Dress Uniform. And we need to keep the fez as a garrison cap.

  18. I keep hearing a refrain from an old Steely Dan song…."I'm never going to do it without the fez on…."

  19. Gauss Rifles. Better penetration with a railgun accelerating a kinetic penetrator at extremely high velocity. Plus none of that annoying light show thingy that gives away your position.

    And portable plasma firing guns, of course. Nothing says FU like a ball of fusing hell travelling at high velocity.

    And why Space Force? To keep the Godless Commies down on the old dirtball and secure the outer reaches for Mom, the Flag and Apple Pie!

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