objects in space

Planet Definition

Alan Stern, chief investigator of the New Horizons team, a planetary scientist, wants Pluto defined as a planet again. While I don’t agree with ALL his criteria for a planetary definition (assuming what I’ve read is true) I do agree that the minimum size is that it should have reached hydrostatic equilibrium (rounded by its own gravity) but not so large to fuse or having had fused elements in its core. It should NOT have to orbit a star - many multiple star systems likely have kicked countless planets out of their gravitational influences those becoming Rogue Planets. The Pluto-Charon system is a binary planet with the barycenter (center of gravity of the two) in space. Other than that, the major body of a system should be designated Planet (assuming it’s round but not fusing) and all other bodies caught in its gravitational influence, regardless of size, should be designated as moons.
That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it.

(I’d email this to Alan but we’re not speaking)

Oh, and for all of you who insist on siding with the IAU using the clearing out its area criteria I give you this:

A few orbits of the over 10,000 detected near-Earth objects not cleared. Will Earth be eventually excluded from the family as well?

Have a nice millennium.
JN, Ph7.5

Objects in Space
  • Objects in Space
  • La Dispute
  • Rooms of the House
Play

And I sat there for hours
In the living room first
Then in the dining room
Moving things around
Picking things up and seeing where they took me
To what place in history
What moment on our timeline
Where we were, where I was, where I thought we’d end up
In this house or on the highway
Driving somewhere near Christmas
In the desert or anywhere else

And I put them in boxes

Objects in Space
  • Objects in Space
  • La Dispute
  • Rooms of the House
Play

Placed each thing carefully without reason
Or at least without one I understood or could describe
There on the table together and when I was done
And stepped back, I realized what I had made
Keepsakes, pictures, letters, ordinary objects all collected there
a memorial 
all the things you see there, but don’t understand but still bring a remembered thing back vividly
invoke someone’s reality
when there together in that place, in that way, out of context