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Thursday, August 24, 2006

Cosmic Chaos

My Very Educated Mother Just Showed Us Nine Planets. Surely one can never forget one’s planets unless one is American.

If 2003 UB313 is to be a planet, and Pluto is not, if Pluto’s moon is to be a planet as is the asteroid Ceres what in the high heavens will my very educated mother show me?

Is Pluto a planet or just a rocky lump of ice -these and other universe altering questions are keeping astronomers and sky gazers in a tizzy not to mention printers, publishers and billions of kiddies who will have to come to terms with the fact that the Solar Sytem has not nine, not 12 but perhaps a whole truckload of planets.

The cosmic chaos started with the discovery of 2003 UB313 (aka Xena) – larger and farther away than Pluto. Then came the International Astronomical Union (IAU) decision to DEFINE a planet. (Apparently a large-sized round object orbiting the Sun that got us through Grade 1 is not good enough).

Whatever, but I sure as hell hope they have someone ready with a neat mnemonic before they unveil the Universe’s new additions.

For the record, more Americans can identify Superman’s home planet than name the planet nearest the Sun. And in other weird space news, the Chinese Government is blasting seeds into space in the hopes that cosmic radiation modifies the seeds which in turn will improve the crop yield back on Earth. Some 2,000 seeds are saddling up for a two week mission aboard the Chinese satellite Shijian-8.


Prashanth said...

MellowDrama, Interesting post. As to your informative links... well, well.

Your blog offers a quaint comfort, wonderful reminiscences, and a gentle, lulling humour. :D not sure this is what you have in mind, but I come here for this.

Now don't ya boot me out! heh.

Atul Sabnis said...

hmmm... need to show this to my Mom. Wonder what i will say after that...

karmic_jay said...

Surely one can never forget one’s planets unless one is American.

Hey what do you have against us Americans? ;-)

MellowDrama said...

Hi Prashant: Hey thanks, glad you like my blog

Atul: Mums welcome ;) The more the merrier.

Karmic: Hey man no offence, but the survey speaks for itself - About 60% Americans can identify Krypton -Superman’s fictional planet while roughly only 30% know Mercury is the planet nearest the Sun. See link towards the end:)

mojindro said...

hi mellow,
very intresting post you have..
sky, stars, planets they always attract me..

Varsha said...

Ya total cosmic all the astrologers will be in a tizzy...or probably our "fortunes" will now change..heh heh

And the Chinese!! Those nuts!! Soon the "cosmic seeds" will be up for sale in the market!