Tech Ramblings…

By Dr. T

— Pluto stripped of title, watch out Goofy

Here’s a question that has baffled me ever since I was young. Mickey is a mouse, Donald is a duck, Pluto is Mickey’s pet dog…then whats Goofy. Isnt the spot for the clumbsy dog already taken :o. And how come Goofy is a bipod, talks, and wears clothes while Pluto is left on all fours, sniffing, and barking :P. Sounds like this judgement has affected astronomers and scientists in the past as well…but no more.

Just this week, astronomers and scientists from The International Astronomical Union (IAU) finally passed a verdict defining what ‘planets’ are. And in the process, unravelled that our heavenly body, Pluto, is no longer categorized as a planet  (remember Steven Spielberg’s  E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial – thats what ET was trying to tell us when he pointed to the solar system mde of stress balls and the geometry set in the movie). Finally someone listened to the alien. 

Look at him, so dumbfounded. I feel for you Pluto ol’ boy.


Pluto, the lovable Mickey Mouse dog, the Greek God of the underworld, the controversial planet X now finds itself amongst the smaller celestial bodies of the solar system ie asteroid… “

The dark and dreary planet being so far away gave the impression of an abyssamal frozen pit, hence earning its name Pluto (Mythical God of the underworld). Its two moons Hydra and Nix being the mythical guard hounds of the entrance to the pit. The decision to reclassify Pluto was based on the definition of Planets requiring them to have a specific size, mass, gravitational pull, path shape around sun etc.

What is more interesting is that within the solar system there are two bodies, namely Ceres between Mars and Jupiter, and Xena (aka 2003 UB313 – and yes Xena referring to the Warrior Princess) that are about 1.5 times or more bigger than Pluto. This was the argument that most scientists and astronomers put forth…”that if these two bodies are not considered planets, so shouldnt Pluto”…

So whose next on the astronomers list. Thats right, they’re going after Goofy next…You cant fool us with your charms any more Goofy…

P.S. One last glimpse of the body we called Planet for a good century….(image courtesy of Nasa Hubble Telescope). Shine brighter ol’ pal…Shine for the Astronomers…


–Tashfeen Suleman


August 30, 2006 - Posted by | Earth Bio-Sciences and SETI, Space

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