Another Brief Conversation with the Planet Pluto
A couple of years ago, we caught up with the planet Pluto for a quick
the occasion of its passing Neptune to once again become the farthest
from the sun in the solar system. As Pluto is once again in the news, we
able to reach the celestial body for another chat.
Brunching Shuttlecocks: Hello there, Pluto, nice to see you again.
Pluto: Yeah yeah, hurry up. Time is money.
BS: Well, we're all abuzz here on earth with the discovery of 2001 KX76,
you have any thoughts on this historic occasion?
P: What discovery? You act like it hasn't been sitting here all along.
mean if you guys ever bothered to aim your damn telescopes out my way,
discover all kinds of floating junk out here. I've known 2001 KX76 for
decades. Cocky bastard, never sends a Christmas card. What's the big
BS: Well the big deal is that 2001 KX76 is being heralded as the largest
minor planet in the solar system.
P: Really? From the way you guys treat me, I could have sworn I was a
BS: No, no. You're a full-fledged planet. For now. But 2001 KX76 is
largest of the so-called 'Kuiper Belt Objects', which orbit the sun out
P: Yeah, there are a bunch of KBOs out there. Not the nicest things in
space, let me tell you. Just as soon crash in to you as give you the
BS: There are some on Earth who think you ought to be classified as a
P: Me, a damn KBO? Blow me! Your Mom's a KBO!
BS: Well, you would go from being the smallest planet to the largest
Any joy in the big fish / small pond theory?
P: I'm a planet. Read me lips. Pla-net. You got a problem with that?
BS: I was just making a point.
P: I've got a point to make. Bite me.
BS: So you're content being known as the smallest planet in the solar
P: As a planet, I get my props. When was the last time a bunch of 3rd
graders stood in a line and recited the names of the 10,000+ KBOs?
BS: So this is about ego, not scientific truth.
P: Who has time for truth? I'm a solid ball of frozen rock that circles
sun every 248 friggin' years. Lot of good it does me. Don't get much
for sun tan lotion out my way, know what I mean?
BS: OK, let's get back to the KBOs.
P: Oh! Sure! By all means! Much more interesting than a real, damn
planet, huh? You're probably already planning on sending a probe out
Meanwhile, my crystalline gardens and abundance of silicon-based ice
creatures twiddle their thumbs, waiting for you to pay attention to us.
BS: You have life?
P: Sure. Life. Plants. Strip malls. Whatever. Like you care. Prove
BS: Yes, well. Anyway. KBOs are thought to be pristine relics of the
formation of the solar system. Any thoughts?
P: They're about as pristine as your uncle's left tit after a good hog
slaughtering. Know what they do with all their spare time? Plot against
you. They hate Earth, they're planning on taking you down.
BS: They're just rocks.
P: Fine. Don't say I didn't warn you.
BS: Pluto, we have time for one more question before we go. Now that
KX76 has made history, astronomers will likely give it a name similar to
other named objects in the Kuiper Belt. The tendency has been to assign
mythological names associated with creation, such as Varuna, a large
named for the Vedic god of oceans and water. Any suggestions?