On August 24 (one week from now!), the International Astronomical Union is voting on a new planetary line-up for the solar-system. Should the vote pass, the new list of planets will be (from the sun): Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Ceres, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto, Charon, Xena. The only new pronunciation I’m sure of is Xena, the others are a bit trickier.
In this new billing, Charon (“K-aron”, or “Sh-aron”?) gets a promotion from being Pluto’s moon, to being a planet in his own right. Simmo thinks that if we are upgrading Charon, all Jupiter’s moons should get a boost in status too. I disagree, Pluto’s moon is pretty much as big as Pluto anyway, so calling them both planets will stop them squabbling.
Ceres is an asteroid at the moment, so it jumps fully two places on the ranking of cool stuff you can be if you are in orbit around a star.
My buddy Cork thinks that changing the solar-system is a bad idea as there will be huge costs involved in re-training all the kids to know the new layout, building new models for classrooms and updating all the encyclopaedias.
I love the idea of new planets. I realise the Union isn’t building them and hurling them into orbit (although that would be super-cool…) but the more planets the better I say.
RodeoClown: from Planet X.