The Observant Astronomer

The passing scene as observed by an observant Jew, who daylights as an astronomer.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Defining "Planet" IV

I won't promise that this is the last posting on the topic, but two consequences of the IAU resolutions have come to my attention.

First, the Minor Planet Center, charged by the IAU to keep track of all the minor planets, have now decided that dwarf planets are to be given official numbers in the catalogue of "minor planets", since the first of them (1) Ceres, already has one. This doesn't preclude a separate catalogue, and scheme for dwarf planets, but they're trying to keep things tidy. So from now on it is (134340) Pluto.

Second, somebody in California legislature clearly thinks he could be doing something more useful than this. The question is whether all his "co-authors" are in on the joke.


Blogger kurkevan said...

Is that resolution for real? Sure glad I didn't vote these people into office.

11:32 p.m., September 10, 2006  
Blogger The Observer said...

The resolution is real, but the motiviation behind it was more to point out the skewed priorities of the CA legislature than to censure the IAU on the Pluto thing.
See this story in the Ventura County Star.

10:35 a.m., September 11, 2006  
Blogger kurkevan said...

Ah, now that makes a bit more sense.

8:35 p.m., September 11, 2006  
Blogger Steg (dos iz nit der šteg) said...

#134340? Poor Pluto...
איך נפלו גיבורים!

3:03 p.m., September 14, 2006  

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