17.08.2006 10:24 - Name That Planet
Finally back in Germany, but the whole universe has changed, thanks to the earth-shattering news that we no longer live in a planetary system of nine planets, but twelve. That's Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Ceres, Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune, Insert Joke Here, Pluto/Charon and 2003 UB13, known to the man in the street as The Other One, and shortly to be renamed Barry.
This decision was not taken by the Astronomical Union, but rather by the International Estate Agents society, as they thought they better do something to counter the rising prices of land.
Ceres was originally considered to be an asteroid, but under new rules, anything that's spherical and orbits the sun is considered to be a planet, which has probably done wonders for the real-estate prices on Ceres. Ceres is sitting in the place which was originally marked down as being the asteroid belt. Many scientists theorised that there had once been a planet there. Now we know that there was one there all along, a whole branch of science fiction has been completely ruined.
I understand there's been a bit of an argument about Pluto. The argument stems from the fact that it was discovered that Pluto had a moon, which was then named Charon. It was then discovered that Charon is bigger than Pluto, and there was talk of demoting Pluto. The fact is, Pluto may not have been doing the work of a planet, but it's been getting the credit for it, and that counts for more with the Astronomical Union. As we all know, demotion can lead to the Union taking action. I wouldn't want to be on the end of an Astronomer's strike, would you? All those short-sighted sallow-complexioned characters marching into London holding banners saying "Justice for Pluto!" and "Moon is Not Enough!", and picketing the London Planetarium.
I wonder, if they discover another moon of Pluto, will it be called Tracee?