August 24, 2006

On THIS DATE IN TWISTED-HISTORY! in 2006, the member planets of the Solar System were called together to vote on the membership applications of Ceres, Makemake, and Eris. The planet Mercury was enthusiastic in its pleading to allow the three new solar bodies as planets and was elated to have three new guys that were smaller than itself. The four big gas planets scoffed at the three little guys and said that they were no better than moons, but since they’d accepted Mercury and Pluto and Mars as planets, then it should be okay for Ceres, Makemake, and Eris. Venus, Earth, and Mars were all noncommittal and were okay with the new guys as long as they kept to their own orbits. Pluto, on the other hand, was adamantly opposed to accepting the three applications. He said that they weren’t even planets and were at best, wandering moons. Jupiter said, okay, but since there wasn’t even a true definition of a planet, how could they call the three new guys moons or whatever until a definition was determined. The planets by a majority vote of 8 to 1 defined planet as the following;

The definition of a “planet” in the Solar System is a celestial body that (1) is in orbit around the Sun, (2) has sufficient mass so that it assumes a hydrostatic equilibrium (nearly round) shape, and (3) has “cleared the neighborhood” around its orbit.

Pluto was the only planet that voted against this definition and wanted the definition to be (1) everything beyond Pluto is not a planet and (2) No matter what else is decided, Pluto gets grandfathered in as a planet.

Pluto lost as all the other planets just looked at it in disgust and said that it shouldn’t have been so mean-spirited with the three new applications. But as a constellation prize (and yes, I mean constellation) Pluto would be the first solar body with the new designation, which is ‘Dwarf Planet’ and would be included along with Ceres, Makemake, and Eris.

Pluto said, “Great, just great, I’m the tallest midget in the room.”

About Joel Byers

Born in North Georgia and educated at some very fine public institutions. Real education started after graduating from college and then getting married and raising two boys. Has the ability to see the funny and absurd in most things and will always remark on it, even if it means getting the stink-eye from his victims.
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