We went to Pluto today.
The 9 1/2 year journey to the most distant planet in our Solar System is complete-earlier today, the New Horizons spacecraft approached Pluto.
Wait, did I say Planet?
As the media celebrated this feat, you could almost hear those uptight astrogeeks sneering under their breath, “It’s not a Planet, it’s a Dwarf Planet”.
I tend to be a literal person, but I’m sorry, this is one occasion where Art outweighs Science. Pluto is more than the sum of it’s mass and gravity-it is the stuff that dreams are made of. Every school kid knows those concentric circles that define our Solar System, and every school kid know the name of the Planet on that outermost ring.
“A Rose by any other name will small as sweet”, and for those of us born in the 20th Century, the romance of Pluto is more important than the classification.
Today, I heard a man being interviewed who worked on this project for 35 years.
Does anybody think, that in his heart, this guy cares about classification?
It’s Pluto, we don’t need no stinking classifications.
The most poetic thing I have read about this feat is this article about Clyde Tombaugh, the man who discovered Pluto 85 years ago-
Here’s to Pluto, you’re looking good.