An etherealgirl's Adventures in Cyberland
Thursday, August 24, 2006
to Minor Planet Status
Much-maligned Pluto doesn't make the grade under the new rules for a planet: "a celestial body that is in orbit around the sun, has sufficient mass for its self-gravity to overcome rigid body forces so that it assumes a ... nearly round shape, and has cleared the neighborhood around its orbit."
Pluto is automatically disqualified because its oblong orbit overlaps with Neptune's.
Instead, it will be reclassified in a new category of "dwarf planets," similar to what long have been termed "minor planets." The definition also lays out a third class of lesser objects that orbit the sun — "small solar system bodies," a term that will apply to numerous asteroids, comets and other natural satellites.
From an astrological and personal point of view, it matters very little what designation little Pluto is given; Pluto still packs an impossible to ignore, powerful punch in a natal chart as well as by transition and affects generations and nations.
From an astronomical point of view the Minor Planet Designation no doubt makes a great deal of sense and I imagine that the daunting task of categorizing so many new and recent discoveries and the expectation of having to categorize many more waiting to be found had more than a little something to do with the demotion. It looks like our solar system is a little more crowded then anyone dared to imagine a generation or two ago...
Posted by etherealfire ::
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