back to article Pluto awarded celestial consolation prize

The International Astronomical Union (IAU) has awarded poor old Pluto a consolation prize following its controversial demotion from the league of planets - other similar dwarf planets will henceforth be called "plutoids". Pluto was given its marching orders back in 2006 in an IAU resolution which clarified: (1) A "planet" [1 …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Are they STILL banging on about this? FFS people move on and get some fucking real work done for a goddamn change. The World is watching and they think you are a bunch of pussys. Let it rest.

  2. Anonymous Coward

    I think you'll find..

    That's a constellation prize. (ahem..)

  3. David Harper

    Got a nasty case of Plutoids? Try Preparation H!

    Or should that be Preparation P?

  4. John Edwards
    Paris Hilton


    Nobody has mentioned HER yet

  5. Mike Richards Silver badge
    Paris Hilton


    Ummmm isn't Ceres a 'dwarf planet' under the new confusing classification rather than an asteroid?

    It would have been much simpler for everyone if the classification had been something like 'a planet is a non-luminous body in orbit around a star that has assumed a spheroidal shape under the influence of its own gravity.'

    That'd have avoided the confusion inherent in the new definition about clearing its orbit which technically means that Neptune is not a planet, kept Pluto as a planet which is what most people wanted and would have excluded all the old asteroids with the possible exceptions of Ceres and Vesta.

    Paris because no matter what the astronomers say, she'll always remain a star to me.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why not Ceres?

    >"since [it] lies in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter"

    That would disqualify it as a planet, for sure, but doesn't explain why it's not a Plutoid?

    [er, not that anybody cares...]

  7. David


    "has cleared the neighbourhood around its orbit."

    Doesn't that disqualify anything with a moon from being a planet?

  8. badHex

    @ Celestial

    Alright, don't get your Plutoids in a twist. Don't really think it deserves four expletives in four sentences, does it? If you weren't interested, it begs the question as to why you read the story, despite its indicative title.

    Don't forget most people in the world still can say "When I was a kid there were 9 planets in the solar system"; and anyway, I'm pleased for the little bugger.

  9. Robert Harrison

    That's no moon....

    Must I continue?

  10. Tim

    Earth = Plutiod?

    Given the amount of crap we are ejecting into space on a regular basis (not just in orbit, but at lagrange points and such), doesnt that mean that we can no longer claim to have cleared our own orbit?

  11. Anonymous Coward

    Do I have to call it the Plutoid Pluto?

    Ceres is a Dwarf Planet. but is there a difference between a dwarf planet and a plutoid?

    Anyway it doesn't matter as I'll stick with 'The Dwarf Planet Pluto' and 'The Dwarf Planet Eris' and 'The Dwarf Planet Ceres'

    Plutoids just sounds daft. what the 'Plutoid Eris' and the 'Plutoid Pluto'? some fucking idiot needs putting back in his box.

  12. Parax


    No a moon is not in the same orbit as the planet it has its own orbit around the planet. however if Jupiter had an evil twin 180 degrees around its orbit (opposite the sun) then it would be a dwarf planet! go figure (I suppose technically this is impossibly rare!)

  13. Mike Richards Silver badge


    The clearing refers to a planet having cleared its region of space of planetismals during the planet-forming period of the Solar System. Satellites are gravitationally bound to a planet so they don't count.

    The problem with the current definition is that it means that planets - particularly Neptune fall foul of this clause. Neptune binds a large number of objects in the Kuiper belt and therefore technically has not cleared its orbit. Jupiter also does not have a clear orbit since it is associated with the Trojan asteroids and even Earth has a number of co-orbiting asteroids.

    The new definition sucks.

  14. Ian

    Ceres is a dwarf planet

    At least according to the IAU website...

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: PH

    A picture of Lucy Lawless would be even more relevant.

  16. rfrovarp

    Ceres is not a plutoid

    To be a Plutoid you have to be outside of Neptunes orbit, or mostly outside I guess (in the case of Pluto). Therefore Ceres does not qualify as it is between Mars and Jupiter. It's all about the location in the solar system.

  17. Grumpy Old Man

    Sounds like a "goofy" idea..

    .. I'll get me coat....

  18. Mark

    Re: Sounds like a "goofy" idea..

    Solicitor: I'm afraid, Mr Mouse, that insanity isn't a cause for divorce.

    Mickey: What do you mean? I told you she was fucking Goofy!

  19. Stevie Silver badge


    Bloody so-called scientists with too much time on their hands and not enough going on upstairs to do any actual science sit around renaming stuff, get hoist on their own petard and now decide to classify stuff by - - - it's name. Absolutely brilliant.

    Attention layabout "scientists"! When viewed from the point of view of the solar system as a whole, all the bloody planets are "satelites"! Whoops, didn't see that coming. Instead of wasting time arguing about how your betters got it wrong, how about DOING some science for a change? A list of stuff deperately needed but not delivered on account of you idiots not getting organised:

    1) Flying car. The sine qua non of actual science. Still a dream thanks to time wasters arguing about how to classify Pluto despite nearly a century of it not being a problem the way it was.

    2) Proper Space Ships. As opposed to the barely-able-to-get-into-LEO, WWII-era science jokes we use today. What's more important: renaming Pluto or, you know, being able to go and have a look at it and come back to tell everyone before you die of old age and old science? Dimwits!

    3) A real spacestation that spins for gravity and looks cool and welcomes real people as opposed to some mechano nighmare that can't house a handfull of "scientists" without the bog breaking down. How great is it that so much time was wasted on the "Pluto not= Planet" debate that the "Let's build a working toilet for the ISS" one got tabled? Idiots!

    4) A proper moonbase, with a permanent population doing real jobs. A shed with a couple of astronauts in it three days in any given year doesn't count. They'll probably just sit around renaming stuff anyway. And we don't even have the shed thanks to the Project Pluto brigade! Slackers!

    5) Rocketboots with an altimeter in the heel. Obvious to everyone but a "scientist". 'Nuff said.

    6) Digital music that doesn't sound like crap and digital TV that doesn't look like crap. That one should be easy. Of course, the real problem isn't how the picture quality suffers in the digital paradigm, but what it should be called since "television" is not properly descriptive of the modern visual entertainment medium. Dolts!

    7) Generic "Cure" pills. I mean, not only do we not have cures for the major diseases of the last few years, we don't even have one for the common cold! What do people really need: a new name for Pluto or something to get rid of a snotty nose once and for all? Morons!

    8) Instantaneous Translator Machine. I can only cringe at the costs needed to render the "Pluto" debate into every layabout scientist's native language so they could all have a shout. Of course, when one considers the importance of Pluto in the general scheme of things, a device to remove basic communication barriers between the people of the Earth pales into insignificance. Instead of sitting around shouting about sonar we could just have *asked* the beaching dolphins why they did it if we'd had this machine but the people who might have built one were all arguing about a planet, sorry, plutoid that no-one can actually see without special equipment. Fools!

    9) Eternium Glass. We went over to plastic bottles because of the problems in preparing conventional glass bottles for re-use. Were the glass to be re-engineered to be hard-wearing it could survive many trips through the cleaning machine-tool, get us back onto a re-use model and thus rid us of our plastic problems. But no, having renamed Pluto there is the vexing "Lake Huron Not= Lake" question to be batted back and forth. Imbeciles!

    10) Teleporters. The elimination of fuel-wasting, time-wasting, patience-wasting, money-wasting mass transit must be made a priority at international levels. Only by "beaming" may we truly rid ourselves of the dependence on fossil fuels for getting to work and nipping down the shops. No doubt scientists are even now avoiding doing the science needed to get this done because it is easier to sit on their backsides and complain that someone else got the name for their discovery wrong. Bah!

    Let the call go out. Scientists! Stop mucking about and do science!

  20. Andy Barber

    @Mike Richards

    But that is like saying both Waitrose & Morrison's are merely "Supermarkets". The former is one, the latter is a Crapmarket!

  21. The Prevaricator

    another category...?

    There's already plenty of categories of objects that don't quite make the grade of being a planet. I think I understand them all... except this one.

    Asteroids - Inner solar system objects, mostly rocky, and not cleared their own orbit, the largest of which is Ceres.

    Centaurs - Relatively small icy/rocky bodies orbitting between Jupiter and Uranus.

    Trans-Neptunian object - an object that orbits partly or entirely outside the orbit of Neptune.

    Kuiper Belt object (KBO) - Relatively small icy-rocky objects orbiting 30-50 AU from the Sun with relatively small inclination.

    Resonant KBOs, or "Plutinos" - a KBO with an orbit in resonance with Neptune, which includes Pluto.

    Classical KBOs - non-resonant orbit and generally lower eccentricity, and generally slightly farther from the Sun than the resonant variety.

    Scattered disk objects - generally farther again (48-70 AU), but with greater eccentricity and also greater inclinations, Eris is a member of this group.

    Oort cloud - über far away (50 k AU), and surrounding the Sun in a shell, the source of long period comets.

    Now, is it me, or is "Plutoid" not really needed, as everything has already been covered in some category or other?

  22. Dalen
    Black Helicopters

    Since Eris is mentioned...

    This all is a plot by the Illuminati!


    Black helicopters for the obvious reason.

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