Posted by on Jul 31, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Plu-To

Plu-To

I am thinking about Pluto (Plu-Tow), the planet. When the 9th planet was discovered, it was such a big deal Walt Disney named a dog after it. Fast forward to my teaching days. As an elementary teacher, I taught science and of course I passed on information about the nine planets. There are probably 1000 former students who know that Pluto was the 9th planet. Well, I suppose, given my questionable abilities to teach, there are perhaps 600 students who may have a vague recollection of planets and possibly, Pluto.

I retired and to tell you the truth, I haven’t thought much about Plu-to. However, others apparently had been thinking about it a great deal. In January of 2006, an Atlas rocket pushed the New Horizons probe into deep space, toward Pluto. Great hopes were held for drawing near to and photographing the planet after nine years of deep space flight. However on August the 24th of that same launch year, astronomers voted to strip Pluto of its Planet status and reduce it to a Dwarf Planet.

To many of us, this came as a rude shock. I cannot imagine how the folks who had worked for years to send the probe to the planet Pluto felt when they found they had instead, shot their rocket toward a Dwarf Planet. Is it just me, or was it a cheap shot to let the NASA send New Horizons off to the ninth planet only to discover that at best the probe would visit a Dwarf Planet.

New Horizons was also designed to go on to visit the Kuiper Belt. One can only hope that the Kuiper Belt hasn’t been renamed the Kuiper Belt-ette, by the time it arrives.

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