Without much in the way of personal goings on over the last few days I’ve been looking further a field for something to report on. Being an avid space enthusiast it’s no surprise that my attention was drawn to the current conference of leading and not so leading scientists discussing and refining the nature of our universe.
Yesterday if you had innocently asked how many planets were in our solar system then you would have been given the nonchalant reply of ‘Nine’. Today however, that answer has changed.
It all began with the defining of Pluto, is she qualified to be a planet. If she is then several other bodies floating out there of a larger mass also qualify to be called planets. Well, the answer was ‘Yes!’ Pluto is a planet which then gives us three more of the little suckers to call our own. Not that we didn’t claim them before but now we can puff our chests a little larger and say there are twelve planets in our swinging solar system dancing on the outer arm, looking in on a densely populated spiral galaxy.
Get this, one was given the dubious name ‘Xena’ after the New Zealand grown television show. What this means is that all books and posters proclaiming accurate knowledge of our Solar System are now out of date. A further problem arises when we learn that there are more bodies drifting by out there that are larger than Pluto but for the time being we can’t get a good enough handle on them to define them. More reprints no doubt to ensure school children know just what our neighborhood looks like. But for now here is what our Solar system currently looks like and check out http://www.iau2006.org/ for the facts.