By CCN Markets: NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine is not impressed with the scientific establishment. Last Friday (Aug. 23), the contrarian boldly declared that – astronomer consensus be damned – Pluto is a planet.
Pluto’s been trapped in exile for more than a decade.
In 2006, astronomers at the International Astronomical Union (IAU) dropped Pluto from the big boys club after arbitrarily changing the rules of the game.
Like a badly-organized neighborhood watch, Pluto lost its stature because – according to science – only real planets clear out the communal riff-raff of asteroids and dwarf planets as they orbit the sun.
For the last 13 years, Pluto was demoted to “dwarf” status, just waiting for its
knight-in-shining-armor NASA-official-in-plaid-suit to come to the rescue.
Well, that time is apparently now thanks to the public antics of Mr. Bridenstine. The NASA administrator is sticking his neck out on this one, risking a severe backlash from the scientific community which has grown all too accustomed to the consensus.
Absent a return to pre-2006 scientific playbook, we could always just threaten to nuke the
planet space rock, Elon Musk style. Maybe that would help the little fella get his act together.
Or perhaps it’s finally time to swap out that one planet who’s always attracted the butt-end of galactic jokes. As on astute commentator via RT speculates:
“I’m sure Uranus wouldn’t mind switching places. That gas-spewing entity needs a vacation.”