Scientists avenge Pluto, claim 150 planets in our solar system


Rest well, old friend

Rest well, old friend
Photo: NASA / Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory / Southwestern Research Institute

You know the old slogan: In space, nobody can hear you scream. Unfortunately, being stuck on our rapidly heating up rock, we can hear everyone shout very well, especially those who yell at the peculiarities of the space itself, ironically.

The last time we asked about our demoted friend, Pluto, it was sure to be not a planet, despite a decade and a half of grumbling from over-invested astronomy fans (welcome to the world of pop culture, astronomy fans). And even though the man responsible for wresting his designation in the first place I’ve been trying to catch up with everyone lately, the fact remains that it is still highly unlikely that the International Astronomical Union will reverse its 2006 decision.

Perhaps it was knowledge of this almost hopeless case that recently prompted a group of scientists to seemingly raise their hands and give their overwhelming demand to “Screw it!” We don’t just want Pluto back, we want 150 more fucking planets added to the list.

This is the gist of a new article published in the research journal Icarus, arguing that the IAU is the real jabronis here, damn it. Like NBC News break it down, the team of scientists claim that the current planetary classification system is based more on outdated astrological (read: pseudoscientists) terminologies and should be updated to reflect the modern era.

A “planet”, by definition, is “any geologically active body” in space, which would not only bring Pluto back into the fold, but also moons like Europe, Enceladus and Titan, as well as the asteroid Ceres. In total, around 150 new “planets” to add to the existing eight.

Unfortunately, as planetary geologist Paul Byrne explained, all of this back and forth about taxonomy often overshadows much of the other genuinely fascinating aspects of these celestial bodies of all sizes. “Every time I gave a talk and put a picture of Pluto, the first question wasn’t about the geology of the planet, but why was it demoted? ” he said NBC News. “That’s what sticks to people, and that’s a shame.”

Do not mistake yourself ; we are sure these classifications are important for all kinds of research purposes. But it was hard enough to remember “My highly educated mom just served us nine pizzas” when I was a kid… God help the generation that needs to understand a 150 letter mnemonic device.

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