Pluto Huggers Are Upset By The Use Of The Term "Planet 9"

Keith's note: (Sigh) This had to happen. Now there are planetary scientists who actually think that use of the term "Planet 9" is "insensitive" - and they even have a petition urging support for their barely-contained outrage. If the Pluto huggers were serious about the responsibility that goes with naming things on worlds they should have thought twice about naming surface features on Pluto after things such as a SciFi monster named "Cthulhu" whose head is shaped like calamari. And they were all nicknaming features like crazy before the IAU even had a chance to weigh in. But wait - weren't many of the same undersigned complainers recently complaining about the IAU naming process - and demanding a greater role for public input in this process? Well, that is what is happening: there may be a large planet lurking in the outer solar system and some scientists and the public want to call it "Planet 9". And they are. C'mon Alan Stern. You can't have it both ways. Just sayin'

"ON THE INSENSITIVE USE OF THE TERM "PLANET 9" FOR OBJECTS BEYOND PLUTO: We the undersigned wish to remind our colleagues that the IAU planet definition adopted in 2006 has been controversial and is far from universally accepted. Given this, and given the incredible accomplishment of the discovery of Pluto, the harbinger of the solar system's third zone - the Kuiper Belt - by planetary astronomer Clyde W. Tombaugh in 1930, we the undersigned believe the use of the term "Planet 9" for objects beyond Pluto is insensitive to Professor Tombaugh's legacy. We further believe the use of this term should be discontinued in favor of culturally and taxonomically neutral terms for such planets, such as Planet X, Planet Next, or Giant Planet Five."

Petition signers below:

Paul Abell
Michael Allison
Nadine Barlow
James Bauer
Gordon Bjoraker

Paul Byrne
Eric Christiansen
Rajani Dhingra
Timothy Dowling
David Dunham

Tony L. Farnham
Harold Geller
Alvero Gonzalez
David Grinspoon
Will Grundy

George Hindman
Kampalayya M. Hiremath
Brian Holler
Stephanie Jarmak
Martin Knapmeyer

Rosaly Lopes
Amy Lovell
Ralph McNutt
Phil Metzger
Sripada Murty

Michael Paul
Kirby Runyon
Ray Russell
John Stansberry
Alan Stern

Mike Summers
Henry Throop
Hal Weaver
Larry Wasserman
Sloane Wiktorowicz

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This page contains a single entry by Keith Cowing published on July 31, 2018 2:52 PM.

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