Requiem For A Planet: East Texans Remember Pluto - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

8/24/06-Tyler

Requiem For A Planet: East Texans Remember Pluto

A universal disappointment for fans of Pluto today. The runt of the solar system litter must now go on as a dwarf planet. A universal disappointment for fans of Pluto today. The runt of the solar system litter must now go on as a dwarf planet.

Then there were 8. This morning, the International Astronomers Union stripped Pluto of its planet status, citing new guidelines for what constitutes an actual planet.   It will now be considered a Dwarf Plane. The news caught many off guard, as we all learned there were 9 planets. Growing up many had their own way of remembering the planets. 

"My very educated mother just served us pink noodles," said Lindsay Wilcox, KLTV 7 News Reporter.  However you remember it, with Pluto gone, it's going to have to change.   Tom Hooten the Director of TJC's Hudnall Planetarium says he's glad there is finally a clear definition of a planet.

"I have historical reasons to keep it, however scientific reasoning sort of overuled that," said Hooten.  The new planet guidelines say a planet must orbit around a star. Pluto does that. Second, it has to be round, and Pluto fits that. Third it has to be the largest object in its neighborhood.

"Pluto is not the largest thing in the neighborhood," said Hooten. "It's moon Sharon is just as big."   Third grade teacher Brenda Dooley told her class today about Pluto.

"Some of them are upset because that's not fair," said Dooley. "They are confused as to why a small group of scientists will make such a big decision for everybody." There are still so many questions to answer like what will schools do with all their books, and here's an interesting fact. The disney character Pluto was named after the planet in 1930. The dog's origional name was Rover, so will disney have to change the character's name once again? Just another thing to think about.

Astronomers arrived at the decision only after decades of contentious debate.  In the end, they decided that, if they let Pluto in, other puny planets would follow.

Molly Reuter, reporting. mreuter@kltv.com

 

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