Dinky Pluto loses its status as planet

“It’s disappointing in a way, and confusing,” said Patricia Tombaugh, the 93-year-old widow of Pluto discoverer Clyde Tombaugh.

“I don’t know just how you handle it. It kind of sounds like I just lost my job,” she said from Las Cruces, N.M. “But I understand science is not something that just sits there. It goes on. Clyde finally said before he died, ‘It’s there. Whatever it is. It is there.'” —Dinky Pluto loses its status as planet (Yahoo! News (will expire))

I think reporters call something “dramatic” when they have already reported something else — in this case, the astronomer’s trial balloon of calling Pluto a “pluton planet” and thus not completely kicking it out of the planetary canon. Pluto is now a “dwarf planet“.

Next we’ll hear about Pluto losing its job as Mickey Mouse’s sidekick.

Loosely related: I will check out this Palm astronomy application later: http://www.aho.ch/pilotplanets/

Update:

My kids had a “Pluto party,” where they ate cold chocolate and sang, “We love you Pluto, oh yes we do…”

I blogged earlier about how upset my children were about Pluto’s demotion. To make them feel better, I composed this new acronym:

Meddling

Villanous

Eggheads

Mercilessly

Just

Stomped

Upon

Nostalgia.