What does Pluto loosing its status as a planet have to do with Minnesota’s environment? Nothing. But since various media outlets around the state are sharing their opinions on the topic, I thought I’d share why I think the world’s astronomers are sending a bad message to children. (updated 8-28-06)
First, here are a look at how divisive this issue has become:
- Fargo Forum: Local astronomers shed no tears over move
- West Central Tribune: Despite ruling, Pluto still fascinates local astronomer
But what do the editorial boards think?
- Austin Daily Herald Editorial: Requiem for a planet
- Crookston Daily Times Editorial: Controversy over Pluto is far from over
- Fergus Falls Daily Journal Editorial: Leave Pluto’s rank alone
- Hibbing Daily Tribune Editorial: Goodbye, Pluto
- Mesabi Daily News Editorial: Pluto, you’ve gotten a raw deal
- Worthington Daily Globe Editorial: The end of the world as we know it
So why did Pluto get booted from the apparently exclusive planetary club? For not orbiting in a proper elliptical path. That’s right, let that be a lesson to all you kids out there: step out of line just one bit and you’ll be labeled a freak. There is no room for non-conformity in this solar system. Admittedly, when such decisions are left up to the International Astronomical Union, which is rumored to be as strongarming as the Teamsters, you expect kids to loose out.
Don’t get me wrong, I am glad that “Xena” did not become the 12 planet in our solar system, but think of the lesson children will take away from this.