Monday, October 20, 2008

Neil deGrasse Tyson, the George Bush of Astronomy

Just as Bush by edict creates his own law, Tyson by personal fiat demotes Pluto from a planet to a...what exactly he doesn't say. Heavenly body, I guess. His grounds? It's too small, and it's orbit is too elliptical. Or as he says on the website of The Planetary Society (conveniently he's Chairman of the Board of said Society) “Pluto has 'peculiar' written all over it.” (His essay on Pluto is at Another part of Tyson's rap against Pluto is that its moon, Charon, is too large in relation to Pluto.
But Pluto has three moons. The other two are Nix and Hydra. That's three times as many moons as Tyson's native planet, Earth, has. Spunky Pluto has enough pull to keep three moons in its ambit.
And why do all the planets have to orbit the Sun in lockstep conformity for Tyson to let them in the Planet Club? More to the point, who vested Tyson with the authority to eject longtime members in good standing of the club?

With their instinctive common sense, schoolchildren the world over have rejected Tyson's cruel banishment of Pluto from the family of Planets. Pluto is a planet whether Tyson likes it or not.

Hurray for Pluto! Long Live Planet Pluto!