Do you know your planets? All nine? No, all eight!!! As a lover of astronomy, one of my goals in life is to make sure that everyone has rudimentary knowledge and is updated on changes in the field. My love of space has prompted me to write this blog and do what I can to promote the subject. I conduct fundraisers, for example, to provide the money for literature and special events.
Some of the old brochures are still lying around, and guess what? They contain the defunct planet, Pluto. They have to go. Hundreds of them. It is kind of sad, but it was an exciting moment in astronomy to recategorize the former planet to minor or “dwarf” status. These kind of significant and earth-shattering discoveries are rare. Sure, we know more about the universe all the time and have some new theories of the big bang. But most people are unaware of what goes on in the science labs. Suddenly, with the demotion of poor Pluto, the world took notice of astronomy. Kids had to relearn the basics and tear up the old solar system posters that adorned their classroom walls. I hope they were replaced promptly.
I wonder if the teachers had a shredder when Pluto was first removed from the big nine. Fortunately, my group does, and we will be able to now destroy the outmoded brochures and bag up the stuff for the trash. Shredding is so efficient and fast with the latest models from https://www.shredderlab.com. It is a definite waste to have to do this, and we will be sure to look into recycling. Whatever the case, it is a happy problem as progress has been made in understanding the universe. In future blogs, I will relate some of the new things we have learned. For the moment, Pluto is a symbol of what can happen when man uncovers the secrets of the solar system. It is a noble undertaking indeed. There is nothing more exciting than knowing the origins of the earth and its fellow planets.
Pluto, as mentioned, is a minor planet and actually the largest member of the Kuiper Belt. This is a group of icy bodies, and the former planet was recategorized in 2006 to great fanfare. It now has a new role and the word, planet, has been redefined, but it is still worthy of study today. To quote the words of the International Astronomical Union, a planet is “a celestial body that orbits around the sun, (has sufficient mass for its self-gravity to overcome rigid body forces so that it assumes a hydrostatic equilibrium (nearly round) shape, and has cleared the neighborhood around its orbit.”
Did you get that? This is your astronomical blog lesson for the day. Come back soon for more.