October 31, 2005

Pluto (Sigh): Three Moons, Not One
— Ace

I'm beginning to get annoyed by Pluto. If it keeps this crap up, yank its status as a planet.

Yeah, thrill of discovery and all that, but 1) I hate unlearning things I learned in third grade and 2) it's disappointing we're still discovering stupid moons in our own solar system. That's the exploratory equivalent of finding you have an extra salad spoon in your kitchen. Yayyyy.

Posted by: Ace at 05:38 PM | Comments (24)
Post contains 79 words, total size 1 kb.

1 Wait-- Pluto gets *more* moons, and you think this is grounds for YANKING it's planetary status? Don't you mean the other way around, Ace?

'Cause from where I'm sitting, Pluto's laying some high-quality smackdown on the bitches with this hand.

It's a planet. Get over it. Save your ire for that Indian she-bitch planet Qwa-Whore, or whatever the fuck it is they call it.

Dave at Garfield Ridge

Posted by: Dave at Garfield Ridge at October 31, 2005 05:48 PM (kc9zT)

2 I question the timing of this alleged "discovery".

Surely these "moons" are nothing but Rovian tricks designed to divert attention from Scooter Libby's indictment.

Posted by: Jack M. at October 31, 2005 05:49 PM (w5x/T)

3 I knew that freakin Hubble was a bad idea.

Posted by: Dave in Texas at October 31, 2005 05:56 PM (JEvqf)

4 Very weak writing on the part of AP (what a surprise!):

They are actually natural satellites, not moons. Just as Pluto is a planet; we don't call it an earth.

There is only one celestial body properly named the Moon (or Luna) and it is the single large natural satellite of the planet Earth.

If this is typical of most news articles about Astronomy, it's no wonder most Americans don't know if we reside in the Milky Way or the Snickers galaxy.

Posted by: Log Cabin at October 31, 2005 06:03 PM (Nso4J)

5 I just hope I live to see the day we reach the Mars Bar.

Posted by: Sortelli at October 31, 2005 07:07 PM (tHvzT)

6 Only you could get annoyed at Pluto, Ace. I mean, it's not like you have to live there. And what is this:

That's the exploratory equivalent of finding you have an extra salad spoon in your kitchen.

Are you inventorying your kitchen again?

Posted by: at October 31, 2005 07:09 PM (uOwet)

7 Leave Pluto alone!

Posted by: chickpea at October 31, 2005 07:40 PM (hBAty)

8 Leave Pluto alone!

Right on! If anybody is deserving of our ire, its that neocon wingnut Goofy.

Posted by: BrewFan at November 01, 2005 02:18 AM (jNXMh)

9 What's a salad spoon?

Posted by: Bebeaux at November 01, 2005 03:10 AM (b9v2c)

10 This is a plot. Some scientists are calling for Pluto to lose its planetary status. I bet the government of Pluto brought in Karl Rove to help. He probably went out and rented some non-union "moons" to make it look like Pluto was more important than it really is. Pluto will then launder illegal campaign contributions through Tom DeLay as payback for Rove's help. I'm sure that the President and Vice President are involved somewhere down the line. They should resign immediately to avoid a scandal.

Posted by: Steve L. at November 01, 2005 03:12 AM (hpZf2)

11 From the article:
"Just on a visceral level, the fact that Pluto has a whole suite of companions will make some people feel better," Stern said.

Well I, for one, am sleeping better at night now.

Posted by: at November 01, 2005 05:52 AM (rGBYl)

12 It's unsurprising that the further out you go, the more minor the body that can support satellites. The Hill sphere goes like distance from the central body but only like the cube root of the mass of the second body.

And Log Cabin: get a life. If even NASA calls the satellites of planets 'moons' then I think the usage is acceptable.

Posted by: David Gillies at November 01, 2005 07:41 AM (2FZO3)

13 Remind me to never eat a salad at Ace's.

Posted by: Bohemian at November 01, 2005 07:53 AM (ywZa8)

14 Bohemian,

Remember never to eat a salad at Ace's.

And be careful with the soup forks. They're tricky.

Posted by: Bebeaux at November 01, 2005 11:24 AM (b9v2c)

15 hey ace, when I was in grade school, Pluto had no moons and Uranus only had 5. Neptune had 2. And you think you're bad off?

Posted by: OregonMuse at November 01, 2005 05:03 PM (D9Ebv)

16 And they also found that URANUS has a ring that is around where its pole are suppost to be and the planet orbits on its side and that JUPITER also has a ring both like the one around SATURN and well there are inedeed moons around PLUTO should we call one of them MICKEY MOUSE?

Posted by: spurwing plover at November 01, 2005 06:21 PM (I9Upt)

17 To all Philistines who sneer at discoveries like the new Plutonian moons: You are hereby invited to stick the piece of cutlery of your choice up Uranus. Calculations indicate that amusement of spectators will be directly proportional to sharpness of utensils.

And on a less proctological note:

Log Cabin: Technically, "moon" generically denotes any natural satellite; "Moon" specifically refers to the natural satellite of Earth. NASA got it right.

Posted by: DoctorWho at November 01, 2005 08:35 PM (zq2L6)

18 If we want to get really geekish - and after all, without geekishness, what do we have? - the Moon is not a satellite of Earth: the Earth-Moon system's center of gravity is not inside the Earth, so the Moon doesn't orbit the Earth. The two bodies orbit one another as a double planet. The Sun attracts the Moon more strongly than the Earth does.

That's right. Technically, the Moon isn't actually a moon.

Posted by: jaed at November 02, 2005 02:07 AM (Wz8D0)


Posted by: spurwing plover at November 03, 2005 04:44 PM (I9Upt)

20 jaed--

I don't know where the hell you got your information, but the Earth-Moon barycenter (center of gravity) is inside the Earth--about 1/3 of the way down between the surface and the center.

I've also just done the (trivial) calculation of the ratio of the Sun's and Earth's gravitational attractions on the Moon, and the Earth's influence is more than 40 times greater than the Sun's.

When true geekiness talks, the other stuff walks. Lace up those sneakers...

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