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"Pluto is dead" - Mike Brown, It's official
Rob Pinnegar
post Sep 7 2006, 05:21 PM
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QUOTE (SigurRosFan @ Sep 7 2006, 07:15 AM) *
134340 - Pluto's minor planet number.

A completely unremarkable number. They should have given it 0 instead.
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SigurRosFan
post Sep 7 2006, 05:30 PM
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QUOTE (Jyril @ Sep 7 2006, 05:46 PM) *
Go to http://cfa-www.harvard.edu/iau/MPDes.html and type "Pluto" and you'll get

And "Xena":

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(136199) 2003 UB313

No additional identifications

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- blue_scape / Nico -
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Jyril
post Sep 7 2006, 05:38 PM
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QUOTE (Rob Pinnegar @ Sep 7 2006, 08:21 PM) *
A completely unremarkable number. They should have given it 0 instead.


Six years ago, somebody suggested that Pluto should have assigned with the minor planet number 10000. It would have become the first numbered & named KBO. The suggestion resulted in an uproar and was forgotten. The number 10000 went to a completely unremarkable main belt asteroid and now Pluto got a dial number.

It's obvious that no one will use it perhaps except for articles and such, so in practice it is more or less irrelevant what number it gets. But still this feels humiliating.


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The universe is not only stranger than we imagine, it is stranger than we can imagine.
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ugordan
post Sep 7 2006, 05:53 PM
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QUOTE (Rob Pinnegar @ Sep 7 2006, 06:21 PM) *
They should have given it 0 instead.

Or 00. Dick Dastardly would have liked that one.


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alan
post Sep 7 2006, 08:18 PM
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Explanation from minor planet center, (or should that be dwarf planet and small solar system body center )
QUOTE
MPC@CFA.HARVARD.EDU
URL http://cfa-www.harvard.edu/iau/mpc.html ISSN 1523-6714

EDITORIAL NOTICE

(From MPC 57525)

At the IAU General Assembly in Prague on Aug. 24 a very substantial majority of the members present agreed to accept that the solar system contains just eight "planets" (Mercury-Neptune) and that objects in hydrostatic equilibrium orbiting the sun but not dominating their vicinity would be considered as "dwarf planets". (1) Ceres, Pluto and 2003 UB313 were identified as members of this new category, with other objects such as 2003 EL61 and 2005 FY9 likely to be added in the future. Since at least one of the "dwarf planets" is already included in the catalogue of numbered "minor planets"--with comets and other natural sun-orbiting material a component of a new category of "small solar-system bodies"--and since the Minor Planet Center Terms of Reference emphasize the need for the MPC to maintain a database of the astrometric observations of such bodies observed beyond the confines of the earth's atmosphere, Pluto and the above-mentioned three provisionally designated objects are now being added to this list of objects with reliable orbit determinations under the numbers (134340), (136199), (136108) and (136472), respectively. It should be noted that, just as some of the numbered objects that have exhibited cometary activity also have designations in the catalogue of numbered periodic comets, the numbering of "dwarf planets" does not preclude their having dual designations in possible separate catalogues of such bodies.

Timothy B. Spahr Copyright 2006 MPC M.P.E.C. 2006-R19


Pluto still doesn't show up on their list of transneptunian objects though.
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tedstryk
post Sep 7 2006, 11:44 PM
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This is idiotic. If dwarf planets are going to be considered a new type of object, why are they numbering them like they were asteroids? They don't number comets on the same system as asteroids, and they don't number moons around different planets on the same system. So why do it here, when there are already thousands and thousands of asteroid numbers?


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David
post Sep 7 2006, 11:56 PM
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We sometimes forget how important names are, and how words help us organize things in our minds, and influence our prejudices.

For instance, for most people "Pluto" was and is a plausible planet. However, "Asteroid #134340" is just a nothing, a little rock on the edge of nowhere. Assigning a number -- and in particular a nondescript, license plate-style number -- has obvious propaganda value. Nobody wants to memorize "Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, 134340."
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Guest_AlexBlackwell_*
post Sep 8 2006, 04:37 PM
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Guests






I wasn't sure where this post would fit, so I placed it here. Bill Safire joins the fray in his On Language column in the September 10, 2006, issue of The New York Times Magazine:

On Language
Dwarf Planet
By WILLIAM SAFIRE
The New York Times Magazine
Published: September 10, 2006
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/09/10/magazine...wln_safire.html
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gpurcell
post Sep 8 2006, 04:46 PM
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Boy, those bastards at the IAU and MPC really know how to rub salt in a wound, don't they!
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Alan Stern
post Sep 8 2006, 07:50 PM
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QUOTE (gpurcell @ Sep 8 2006, 04:46 PM) *
Boy, those bastards at the IAU and MPC really know how to rub salt in a wound, don't they!



Perhaps a little feedback to Dan Green and Brian Marsden at MPC is in order, your call.

marsden#cfa.harvard.edu
green@cfa.harvard.edu
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Guest_AlexBlackwell_*
post Sep 8 2006, 09:43 PM
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I apologize if this has been mentioned but I just noticed Paul Schenk has an interesting editorial, "Pluto Demoted Back to Dog-Star Status," which appears in the August 2006 issue of the Lunar and Planetary Information Bulletin (1.04 Mb PDF).
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mchan
post Sep 9 2006, 08:24 AM
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Alan Stern's PI's Perspective for September 6 keeps Pluto as ninth planet --

http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/overview/piPerspec...ive_current.php
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alan
post Sep 9 2006, 08:27 PM
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If your going to count the dwarf planets as 'real' planets wouldn't that make Pluto the tenth planet?
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JRehling
post Sep 10 2006, 04:12 AM
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QUOTE (alan @ Sep 9 2006, 01:27 PM) *
If your going to count the dwarf planets as 'real' planets wouldn't that make Pluto the tenth planet?


Sorting by what? Discovery: ninth. Distance: ninth. Size: tenth.
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Greg Hullender
post Sep 10 2006, 04:32 AM
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I think he's including Ceres, which makes Pluto 10th in discovery and distance. If you include "Xena," it's tenth in size. Hard to make any principled argument that it's the 9th planet -- other than tradition, which can't really be called "principled."
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