Pluto in context : the big eighty eight

Check this out : a web developer in Boston has made a stunning image of all eighty eight objects in the Solar System bigger than 200 miles across. (Miles ??!!??? Well, I guess that’s America for you …) . Pluto is number eighteen.

So .. wanna pick out a handful and give them a special name ? How about eardstapa ? (Anglo-Saxon for Wanderer). Maybe some of us will pick eight eardstapas and some will pick nine, and we can have jolly interesting reasons for why something ought to be an eardstapa, or not. The nine-eardstapa camp can start an internet petition, and the eight-eardstapa people can get a motion passed at an Assembly of Very Important People.

Planet is a word, people. Take a look at the Universe.

2 Responses to Pluto in context : the big eighty eight

  1. Nick Cross says:

    Well said. There has been too much emotion poured out on this issue. As you say planet is just a word. Pluto is just as interesting whether it is a planet or dwarf planet or anthing else. We should get on with exploration ands research rather than semantics.

    By the way, every time I tried to look at the stunning image, the server crashed.

  2. Stephen says:

    So, with the 700 km cutoff, i count 27 planets. 28 if you count Charon as a planet using the double planet concept. 29, if you count the Moon as a planet. I’m all for making school kids memorize them all. Here in the States, they already have to memorize 50 states. Do YOU know where Alabama is? What state is just south of Kentucky?

    It’s a cool image, though. The ones to the left of the Earth have very strange shapes. Even stranger than 2003 EL61 (136108), which seems to fail the hydrostatic equilibrium test.

    Next, we need a definition of the word “moon” with a lower limit on size. This limit could be related to the size of the parent body. For that matter, the lower limit size for planets could be related to the size of the star. Right now, Saturn has, what, billions of moons? This size thing might allow Phobos to be a moon and Ganymede.

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