Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Conventional Chaos

Pop quiz, hotshots: How many planets does our solar system have?

Prior to September 13, 2006, the correct answer was nine. Nowadays we have either eight or eleven, depending on how literally you parse the word "planet".

Yes, Eris had managed to toss another golden apple into our solar system back in 2005 with this little bowling display, and the astronomers and scientists and people-who-make-names-official promptly fell all over themselves arguing about her. Three Letter Acronyms, such as TNO, were bandied about. Eventually, after much brouhaha, she was classified on 9/13/06 as a dwarf planet, along with Pluto and Ceres.

To reiterate: Eris got Pluto demoted from planet status, and a glorified asteroid promoted to "dwarf planet".

That, my friends, is what we call a display of pure, unadulterated, Erisian power.

So back to the picture again:
  • Golden Apple
  • Roughly spherical... one might say almost planetoid in appearance
  • "No power in the 'Verse [universe] can stop us."
Indeed, no power in the universe can stop Eris.. including the lawyers and bureaucrats who name the silly things.

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