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Pluto is Now Just a Number: 134340

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#1    Fluffybunny


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Posted 13 September 2006 - 06:20 AM

Let's see if it still works:
My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nine 134340...

Dang. It doesn't work anymore.

OK Wait, I need to rant here. They change the name of Pluto(an OK name), but yet Uranus stays the same? Come on, I can't look at a sky chart without giggling and I am an adult, I can only imagine the heckling that middle school science teachers must take during Astronomy week: "OK kids today we are going to look at Uranus..." ***giggle...giggle*** "Umm, not without my attorney present you won't" ***heehee***

I wish these guys would have at least thrown an ammendment down to change the name to something a little bit easier to say with a straight face. I seriously think the original guys that choose the name did it as a horribly practicle joke that has gone on for centuries "OK, planet Titticacca was too obvious, but I think that we could get away with Uranus...just make sure that when you pronouce it it sounds like UrUnus and no one will ever catch on...they will sound like idiots for hundreds of years..."

Pluto has been given a new name to reflect its new status as a dwarf planet.

On Sept. 7, the former 9th planet was assigned the asteroid number 134340 by the Minor Planet Center (MPC), the official organization responsible for collecting data about asteroids and comets in our solar system.

The move reinforces the International Astronomical Union's (IAU) recent decision to strip Pluto of its planethood and places it in the same category as other small solar-system bodies with accurately known orbits.

Pluto's companion satellites, Charon, Nix and Hydra are considered part of the same system and will not be assigned separate asteroid numbers, said MPC director emeritus Brian Marsden. Instead, they will be called 134340 I, II and III, respectively.

There are currently 136,563 asteroid objects recognized by the MPC; 2,224 new objects were added last week, of which Pluto was the first.

Other notable objects to receive asteroid numbers included 2003 UB313, also known as "Xena," and the recently discovered Kuiper Belt objects 2003 EL61 and 2005 FY9. Their asteroid numbers are 136199, 136108 and 136472, respectively.

The MPC also issued a separate announcement stating that the assignment of permanent asteroid numbers to Pluto and other large objects located beyond the orbit of Neptune "does not preclude their having dual designations in possible separate catalogues of such bodies."

Marsden explained that the cryptic wording refers to the future possibility of creating a separate astronomical catalogue specific to dwarf planets. There might even be more than one catalogue created, he said.

The recent IAU decision implies "that there would be two catalogues of dwarf planets-one for just the trans-Neptunian Pluto type and the other for objects like Ceres, which has also been deemed a dwarf planet," Marsden told SPACE.com. "That's why that statement was put there, to reassure people who think there would be other catalogues that this numbering of Pluto doesn't preclude that."

Pluto's asteroid number was first reported today on the website of Sky and Telescope magazine.


Too many people on both sides of the spectrum have fallen into this mentality that a full one half of the country are the enemy for having different beliefs...in a country based on freedom of expression. It is this infighting that allows the focus to be taken away from "we the people" being able to watch, and have control over government corruption and ineptitude that is running rampant in our leadership.

People should be working towards fixing problems, not creating them.

#2    Startraveler


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Posted 13 September 2006 - 03:50 PM

It's not a big deal. Minor planets (and apparently now dwarf planets) have names, they just get numerical designations, too. Most people choose to say Ceres instead of A899 OF and I imagine people will similarly prefer "Pluto" over the numerical designation.

#3    Mostar


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Posted 24 September 2006 - 01:55 AM

Poor little pluto...all alone out there....no longer a planet, what an out cast.....if i was pluto id be pissed....does this mean they have to change all the posters and educational books/video ect ect in schools and books ?  crying.gif

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#4    Waspie_Dwarf


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Posted 24 September 2006 - 02:01 AM


Poor little pluto...all alone out there

It isn't alone out there. That is the very reason it isn't a planet, it is just one small body out of thousands in the Kuiper Belt.

"Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-boggingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the street to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space." - The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams 1952 - 2001

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#5    IamsSon


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Posted 24 September 2006 - 02:15 AM

My son learned a song about the planets when he was in Kinder.  The second to the last line was, "Uranus spins on it's side..."   w00t.gif

8 years later, My wife and i can still reduce each other to puddles of giggling jello simply by repeating that line.

Poor kid never understood why his parents would laugh uncontrolably with one line of his cute little song. yes.gif

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#6    ABOTU


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Posted 24 September 2006 - 04:06 AM

I want my Pluto back!

There are these shirts that have the 9 planets with pluto crossed out. Below it says "And then there were 8".


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#7    RollingThunder06


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Posted 24 September 2006 - 04:10 AM

It is a little sad to think of Pluto being stripped of its planet title and thrown out there with a whole bunch of numbers.  sad.gif   I agree with you fluffy, they could have had the decency while they were at it to change that stupid name.   wacko.gif

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#8    leadbelly


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Posted 25 September 2006 - 06:32 AM

If I am not mistaken, it is still Pluto. After all, a recent discovery of a similar body is now officially "Eris" (plus a telephone number  laugh.gif).

The difference is Pluto's numerical addition is a catalogue number, now that it has been deemed a dwarf planet.

A NASA interview with Venetia Burney Phair-

"Venetia, can you tell us a little bit about the circumstances that happened in 1930 that brought you to suggest the name of Pluto?"

"Yes, I don’t quite know why I suggested it. I think it was on March the 14th, 1930 and I was having breakfast with my mother and my grandfather. And my grandfather read out at breakfast the great news and said he wondered what it would be called. And for some reason, I after a short pause, said, “Why not call it Pluto?” I did know, I was fairly familiar with Greek and Roman legends from various children’s books that I had read, and of course I did know about the solar system and the names the other planets have. And so I suppose I just thought that this was a name that hadn’t been used. And there it was. The rest was entirely my grandfather’s work."

"And your grandfather (Falconer Madan) was a librarian I understand who had a lot of friends who were astronomers."

"That’s exactly right. He was retired He had been Bodleian’s Librarian, which is the head librarian in the Bodleian at Oxford, which is the university library of course."

"And he suggested the name to the astronomer Herbert Hall Turner, who then in turn cabled the idea to the American astronomers at the Lowell Observatory. Is that correct?"

"That is correct, yes. Professor Turner had been Astronomer Royal in the past and was a professor at Oxford. On the day it was suggested—my grandfather dropped a note to him—he was, on that day, attending a meeting in London of the Royal Astronomical Society. They were all thinking about names, but for some reason, none of them thought of Pluto."

"And you thought about it because of the Greek and Roman mythology about Pluto being the god of the underworld?"

"I don’t think…I doubt if I was as subtle as that. I just thought it was a name that hadn’t been used so far, and might be an obvious one to have."

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