Wednesday, August 17, 2005

the naming of the tenth planet

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So there might be a tenth planet. I'd already heard about it, and forgotten it. To be quite honest I thought they had already discovered a tenth planet a while ago, but I guess they hadn't. Right now astronomers are getting together and arguing about just what a "planet" is. Isn't a planet just something big that orbits the sun?

Well, New Scientist put together a poll of their readers to find out what people would name the new planet, if it really is a planet after all. And like all polls of the general public, the results are embarrassingly funny.

The first choice is pretty good. Persephone. In roman mythology Pluto kidnapped Persephone. So there's... well, there's sort of a connection.

Second choice: Peace. (or Pax, which means peace). Since, you know, peace is good.

Three: Galileo. He had something to do with space, right?

Four (my personal favorite): Xena. Hahaha. As in the warrior princess. "What?- It's got an X in it, right? That's spacy." Apparently this was the name Mike Brown and his team originally gave the planet upon first discovering it, as a joke - and it's starting to stick.

Five: Rupert. This one is good. In Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, the fourth planet was officially called "Persephone," but was widely nicknamed Rupert after "some astronomer's parrot - there was some tediously heart-warming story attached to this - and that was all very wonderful and lovely.”

Six: Bob. Since astronomers could have something to laugh about.

Seven: Titan. A popular choice, even though it's already a giant moon around Saturn.

Eight: Nibiru. Has something to do with ancient babylonian or sumerian tablets or something referring to a tenth planet. Some people think the writings have finally come true.

Nine: Cerberus. Mythological, kind of tough.

Ten: Loki. More mythology.

Also, the editor's favorite was a six year old who wrote in recommending the name R2D2.

4 comments:

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Omniphonic Pauper said...

Why must as humans always name things?? Does every floating space rock need to be anthropamorphized. Frankly, I think it should be called rock or stone or floater, it would be more suiting. Descide what it acutally is. But I guess Rupert is ok.

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