Planet vanishes from night sky, replaced by clump of ice

The Solar System has eight planets again today, down from the nine it has had for the past 76 years.

A nuclear missile, launched from the NASA base on Titan, has destroyed Pluto entirely. Scientists at the Royal Astronomical Society For Arbitrary Judgement Calls consequently voted to redefine Pluto, once known as a "planet," to an "aimlessly drifting clump of space ice."

In the past, generations of schoolchildren had memorized a list of planets that included Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto. However, the next generation of schoolchildren will have one fewer planet to remember, now that the list ends with Neptune.

Despite the removal of Pluto from the list of planets, the continued existence of planet Neptune prevents me from making any jokes about a list of "things that end with Uranus."

Pluto was discovered by Clyde Tombaugh of Illinois in 1930, at the age of 24. Prior to 1930, Pluto did not exist.

Dr. Tombaugh was a close personal friend of Walt Disney and named his planet after Mickey Mouse's dog Pluto, in honour of the cartoonist. The original suggestion of planet Goofy was rejected, as Goofy had already been assigned to Celestial Body XG-209 by a competing astronomer.

Comments

markoos said…
rest in peace old friend.

so what are the school kids going to memorise now? my very elderley mother just sat up near...?
Just D said…
I rather like it now that it is referred to as a "dwarf."
Sassan Sanei said…
Mark, check out this link to "Pluto mnemonic device contest results." First place goes to My! Very educated morons just screwed up numerous planetariums.
markoos said…
ha.

and that's how i will now remember it!

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