Saturday, February 6, 2010

Far Out!

See you next year!
You wish.
If you lived on Pluto that is.
I was reading this article in Sky & Telescope the other day about the former planet.
Or have they come to their senses and given back Pluto the status it deserves?
Anyways, it seems that Pluto is changing!
Color and surface features and everything!
You can read the article here.
The short long of it is that because Pluto was only discovered in like 1930, we don't know a whole lot about it.
It doesn't help that it's orbit around the Sun takes like 248 years.
That's right sports fans, two hundred and forty eight years!
Last time Pluto was where it is now, the Colonists were still bitching with the United Kingdom over the tax on tea.
Or something.
So because it takes Pluto so long to makes it's journey around the Sun, we don't quite know what is going on there.
According to the article, it hit perihelion, or the time when it's closest to the sun in 1989, so Pluto is just sort of getting over summer. Well actually summer lasts like sixty years, so maybe it's still sort of in the middle of summer.
Thing is, we haven't really had a chance to observe Pluto in one full orbit yet.
So who knows what could happen. Pluto could blow up and smack into Neptune or something and put the whole solar system into a collision course with another solar system.
Okay, not really.
Well, Pluto's orbit is so eccentric that it actually crosses Neptune's orbit but fortunately, Pluto's orbital plane is about seventeen degrees off of the plane the rest of the planets are on.
Wait, make that the planets, for Pluto is not really a planet.
So anyways, that concludes our little trip into the universe. Going all the way out to Pluto made me a bit sleepy.
Shout out to Mr. Dogimo and his blog for reminding me about Pluto.
It's really far out!
Pluto I mean.
Okay, and Mr. Dogimo's blog too.
And any place/person named after a dog has got to be cool.

artists rendering not to scale

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