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Laurel's Pluto Blog

Two Years Later: Not Gone, Not Forgotten

24 Aug 2008, 06:12 UTC
Two Years Later: Not Gone, Not Forgotten
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Two years have now passed since the debacle conducted by the IAU at its General Assembly in Prague, and amazingly, the debate over the status of Pluto simply refuses to die. In spite of all the misguided efforts by those seeking "closure," planet Pluto has continued to stir passions, inspire discussion, and remain in the public eye as a not just a scientific issue but a cultural icon.The latest IAU bungle by creation of the term "Plutoids," which no one, even supporters of the dynamical planet definition that leaves us with eight planets, likes, has only fueled the fire over the highly flawed planet definition crafted by 424 astronomers in an equally flawed process two years ago.Just this month, the Great Planet Debate at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland, brought this issue to the forefront of public attention once more.I always cringe upon hearing or reading that a student was given a lower grade because he or she included Pluto in a school project on the solar system. It is inconveivable that teachers would unquestioningly rely on a so-called authority, whether a textbook or the IAU, to promulgate one side of an ongoing debate as ...

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