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Why Pluto should not be a planet

Well, they’re back at it again.

Arguing over whether Pluto should be called a planet, a dwarf planet, or a Kuiper object. I guess it gives astronomers something to do around the water cooler.

Anyway, the International Astronomical Association Union, which is as official as you can get, adopted a resolution in 2006 designating Pluto as a dwarf planet. Now schoolkids only have to memorize eight names, instead of nine. (If you miss “Earth,” you get recycled back to kindergarten.)

But here comes a team of “researchers” who not only want Pluto reinstated as a planet, but they’re reaching for the moons, too. “We think there’s probably over 150 planets in our solar system,” the study’s lead author said (story here).

No! No! No! No! No! That’s 141 bridges too far! No kid on earth, except a few savants and freaks, can memorize that many planet names. And who gives a rap about those little planetoids, anyway? The 8 (or 9, if you count Pluto) big ones are all anyone has ever cared about.

The thing is, though, if you give Pluto planetary status, then you have to upgrade all those other objects, too. Otherwise, you’re discriminating against them.

Enough is enough! It is fervently to be hoped this request will either be shelved, or the IAAU will laugh it out of the solar system , for practical if not scientific reasons. Grade school students are already tortured enough by the multiplication tables. Don’t add to their burdens.

Photo: How grade-school students see their curriculum

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