Blogstorm Erupts Over Pluto's Downgrade to Dwarf Planet

Posted on August 28, 2006

Newsweek Pluto FeatureThe decision by the International Astronomical Union (IAU) to drop Pluto as a planet has ignited a blogstorm. The MSM is also heavily covering the story with features in Newsweek and nearly every other media outlet. Some people are accepting the decision as an appropriate scientific move while others are very upset that Pluto is being downgraded to a dwarf planet. There are also the astrological concerns. It actually doesn't change anything in astrology whether Pluto is a planet or not -- it won't change the object's influence. However, Scorpio's sign is closely associated with Pluto. Therefore, Scorpios are being warned by some astrologists that they may have difficulty trying to control their plutonian tempers.

Pluto TechnoratiTechnorati has been running a small feature that says, "Pluto demoted: Blogosphere Aghast!" about the Pluto decision. They have linked the feature to the Pluto tag. Pluto was also four of the top five new stories on August 25th, 2006 according to BlogPulse.

Astronomer Kristin Larsen says not to cry for Pluto but some bloggers are not accepting the decision. Here are some highlights from the blogosphere about the Pluto decision.

  • Planck's Constant points to a BBC article that says the Pluto vote was hijacked.
  • How popular is dwarf planet 2003 UB313? Technorati shows just over 3,000 posts about 2003 UB313. That isn't very many. The unusual name is just a temporary name for the dwarf planet.
  • Got some Pluto stuff? It soon could be hot on eBay.
  • The Half an Hour blog refuses to accept the IAU's decision: "Now they are telling me that Pluto is not a planet. Again, I refuse to accept that. So far as I am concerned, Pluto is a planet (and so are Ceres, Xena and Sedna)."
  • Cosmic Log reports that Patricia Tombaugh, the widow of Pluto discoverer Clyde Tombaugh, told the AP that the IAU's decision was "disappointing in a way, and confusing."
  • Dean Dad is refusing to take down's his boy's glow-in-the-dark Pluto: "The Boy has nine (count 'em!) glow-in-the-dark planets hanging from his ceiling, arranged in order around the overhead light, which doubles as the sun. I ain't takin' Pluto down."
  • The Education Wonk blogs that teachers should not fear Pluto being dropped from the "exclusive Celestial Planets Club."
  • Ken Jennings writes that eight is enough. "don't see the need for all the weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth over distraught schoolchildren, new textbooks, etc. It's science. Stuff gets upgraded and downgraded and re-classified all the time."

    Solar System With Eight Planets