Picketers Protest Pluto's Planetary Panning | Aero-News Network
Aero-News Network
RSS icon RSS feed
podcast icon MP3 podcast
Subscribe Aero-News e-mail Newsletter Subscribe

Airborne Unlimited -- Recent Daily Episodes

Episode Date

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Airborne On ANN

Airborne 05.18.15

Airborne 05.26.15

Airborne 05.20.15

Airborne 05.21.15

Airborne 05.22.15

Airborne Hi-Def On YouTube

Airborne 05.18.15

Airborne 05.26.15

Airborne 05.20.15

Airborne 05.21.15

Airborne 05.22.15

 

Mon, Sep 04, 2006

Picketers Protest Pluto's Planetary Panning

Say IAU Decision Doesn't Represent Entire Community

The demotion of lowly Pluto from planetary status has ignited a firestorm of controversy in academic and astronomical circles... including, understandably, from friends and colleagues of the late Clyde Tombaugh... who discovered Pluto in 1930.

The Associated Press reports about 50 New Mexico State students and faculty turned out Friday in Las Cruces for a good-natured protest of the International Astronomical Union's week-old decision to strip the ninth rock from the sun of its "classic" planetary title -- relagating it to mere "dwarf" planet status.

Clybe Tombaugh (right) worked at Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, AZ when he discovered Pluto. He came to Las Cruces in 1955 -- founding the school's research astronomy department. Among those wearing t-shirts and carrying signs Friday reading "Protest for Pluto" and "Size Doesn't Matter" was Tombaugh's widow, Patricia, and their son Al.

Also attending was NMSU astronomer Bernie McNamara... who says the debate over Pluto is not over yet.

"This was not a statement by the astronomical community at large," McNamara said, adding the August 24 IAU vote represented only about 400 of the union's thousands of members -- only those who could make it to the conference in Prague.

More representative of the true feeling of astronomers worldwide, he said, is a petition now circulating among that community.

Others note Tombaugh was a groundbreaking astronomer -- as it took 60 years before much stronger telescopes could locate another object with an unusual orbit like Pluto's, and another 13 before a larger object was found in the area.

"Clyde Tombaugh was an American hero," said Tombaugh's former colleague Herb Beebe. "For that reason alone, Pluto's status as a full-fledged planet should be kept."

Beebe also suggested -- jokingly, we think -- the IAU's definition of a planet makes as much sense as the definition of continents on Earth. "Look at a map -- what's with Europe and Asia?" he asked the crowd. "I say let's eliminate Europe."

No word yet if protests like these may change the minds of the IAU when it comes to Pluto... but it appears a quiet groundswell of support is building for the lowly, well, whatever it is.

Don't rewrite the textbooks just yet... as we may not have heard the last from the Pluto Proponents.

FMI: www.iau.org, www.nmsu.edu

Advertisement

More News

Airborne 05.26.15: S-97 1st Flt, SpaceShipTwo Progress, CO NIMBYs Lose In Court

Also: Sprite UAV, Aero-Calendar, USAF Theater, Aussie F-35, ISS Hacked?, DuPage Airport, ND UAVs Innovation in vertical lift flight took place as Sikorsky Aircraft announced the su>[...]

Aero-Help Wanted: ANN Needs A Good Honest Marketing Manager

ANN/Aero-TV Marketing Department Needs Part or Full Time Personnel E-I-C Note: After months of hints, we've unveiled the beginnings of the 'Airborne Unlimited' project and we're ex>[...]

AeroSports Update: Jimmy Stewart’s Twin Cessna To Be Restored

Pennsylvania EAA Chapter To Restore The Actor's Cessna 310 Hollywood motion pictures can make heroes out of the most unlikely people, and we have certainly seen that in many poorly>[...]

ANN's Daily Aero-Linx (05.27.15)

Cockpit Footage TBM Avenger Emergency Landing Arsenal Of Democracy VE Day Flyover This is the Emergency Landing at DCA, Reagan National, of the Military Aviation Museum TBM Avenger>[...]

ANN's Daily Aero-Term (05.27.15): Negative

Contradicts a previous statement by the other speaker.>[...]

blog comments powered by Disqus



Advertisement

Advertisement

Podcasts

Advertisement

© 2007 - 2015 Web Development & Design by Pauli Systems, LC