Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Happy Anniversary, Pluto!

Jennifer wrote:
I tried the 5 year old explanation on my son today, with a few extra details thrown in to set the scene. I swear I saw stars sparkling in his eyes when I finished. Worked like a charm :).
Nice, glad it worked!

One final postscript I forgot to mention on all of this to make it particularly fitting: today is the 79th anniversary of Pluto's discovery.

In honor of the anniversary, I just came from a department event announcing the newly created position of the Clyde Tombaugh endowed chair. Patsy Tombaugh, Clyde's widow, spoke at the event to a packed room. She quoted Clyde in what I thought was a particularly nice sentiment: "How can people not be interested in astronomy? Don't they want to know where they are?"



  1. Bravo!! I'm very glad you put a comma in (kick-ass) as most people in their stupidy won't - too much trouble or something! Stupid people. Now, can you see why Wall Street/our crass Goverment is having so much trouble? People have absolutely no respect for grammar; thus, they lose a sense of what's RITE vs. RONG. I'm very glad you do. Keep it up, sarge, and I'll see you in Heaven someday where alla the RITE-grammar-humans congregate.

  2. Does the discovery that Pluto is no longer a planet now deserve its own anniversary, and should it replace the first one?

  3. Well, passthewoundsalt, I don't know if it was "discovered" that Pluto was not a planet, so much as a re-categorization.

    That said, in spite of the IAU's decision, the planetary astronomy community is still pretty divided on the issue. I went to a planetary conference a couple years ago and for the Kuiper Belt talks they asked each speaker to wear one of two name tags: either "Pluto is a planet" or "Pluto is not a planet". Each time a new speaker came up to the podium, there were accompanying boo's and cheers no matter which tag they chose.

  4. Wow! That's heavy, but fascinating. My blog is interesting but not quite as cerebral. If you want a light read, feel free to check it out.


  6. Kold... Why are you so snobby about peoples grammer? Maybe some people arn`t as educated as you. You`re comments would upset these people. Not everyone, cares if all the, commas are in the rite places anyway.

  7. I don´t speak english very well. but your Site i´s beatiful!
    I love Planet Astromer.
    Big kiss!

  8. In Portuguese...
    Me visite, ok?
    I like your Blog/Site!!