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(Christian Science Monitor)   The problem some astronomers have with Quaoar is that there is no definition for 'planet'   ( divider line
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4090 clicks; posted to Main » on 08 Oct 2002 at 10:15 AM (15 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

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2002-10-08 10:18:40 AM  
well, aren't they in the best position to create one? c'mon guys, you have the power to solve your own problem.
2002-10-08 10:21:01 AM  
The problem I have with Quaoar is that its called Quaoar.
2002-10-08 10:21:47 AM  
huh? Disney added a new character?
2002-10-08 10:22:15 AM  
When is Bush adding it to the axis of evil?
2002-10-08 10:22:23 AM  
there was an astronomer guy talking about it on npr the other day, i was wondering how they spelled that.
2002-10-08 10:25:04 AM  
Pluto has never really fitted in

And I never really readed the rest of the article.
2002-10-08 10:25:30 AM  
[image from too old to be available]
2002-10-08 10:28:50 AM  
What is the cut off between 'big pond' and 'small lake'?

What is the cut off between 'big hill' and 'small mountain'?

These questions have bothered me since I used to live on a big pond/small lake near a big hill/small mountain.
2002-10-08 10:29:33 AM  
Harmonia When they discover an exploitable resource on it.
2002-10-08 10:31:28 AM  
Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus. Who's from Quaoar?
2002-10-08 10:32:44 AM  
Well, there goes the neighborhood.
2002-10-08 10:33:46 AM  

Transexuals, duh!
2002-10-08 10:35:19 AM  
Frankee-Frank-Frank: Nice picture of Pluto and Quaoar. It even depicts the relative sizes of each, although their distance from each other is not to scale.
2002-10-08 10:37:10 AM  
Ah but Canuck, do you realise that if someone gave Quaoar, fissionable material, and technical help it cold have nukes in 3 months, then they might give them to terrorists and you know the rest.

Do you want to wait until Toronto is in flames!!!!
2002-10-08 10:43:58 AM  
I say put the new name for "Quaoar" up for auction on eBay. We'll have a planet Microsoft or Macdonald's or something stupid like that, but the astronomers (and preferably SETI) will have an extra $1billion to play with.
2002-10-08 10:47:22 AM  
Macman - wait, before you do that, we need to make sure that the aliens have not already sold it to someone.
2002-10-08 10:48:58 AM  
harmonia-sure, then it'll only take 20 years for the ipbms to actually get here.
2002-10-08 10:53:14 AM  
This all reminds me of the Brunching Shuttlecocks' .

"Your MOTHER'S a trans-Neptunian object!"
2002-10-08 10:53:54 AM  
Er. The web address for that is

you know, in case anyone's interested, or anything. Apparently, I can't link with HTML for crap. :P
2002-10-08 10:56:53 AM  
I'll need to find a better pic and PS this sometime, but for now:
[image from too old to be available]
2002-10-08 10:58:59 AM  
Damn aliens. I hadn't thought of that Emily.
2002-10-08 11:04:51 AM  
Well, I think they just sold someone the moon, so you have to be careful.
2002-10-08 11:08:32 AM  
That accompanying image reminded me of the crappy elementary science textbooks rampant in America...

Since when are the orbits perfectly circular? Especially PLUTO'S...which they said in the article itself is wildly elliptical?
2002-10-08 11:18:39 AM  
Great so now astronomy has to be politiclally correct?

I say name it poochie.
2002-10-08 11:19:03 AM  
And, as will soon come up anyways, the question of the day will be; they have a problem with Pluto, but are they ok with Uranus ?
2002-10-08 11:19:26 AM  

I thought I was the only one to have seen that movie.
2002-10-08 11:35:03 AM  
The problem I have with Quaoar is that it has 4 vowels in a row in its' name. These guys went way out of their way to find an obscure native american creation god with this kind of name. Then there was the italian renaissance painter, Antonio Pollaiuolo. What's wrong with consonants?
2002-10-08 11:40:19 AM  
Macman Put the planet's name up for auction? Heck, put the whole planet up for auction! All the good real estate, the moon, Mars, the moons of Jupiter and Saturn, are taken up, but I'm going where the real money is: mining ice!
2002-10-08 11:41:42 AM  
Squidward - Hey, you saw Ice Pirates, too?
2002-10-08 11:46:26 AM  
PLANET n.(plan'et)Lat. Planeta, "wandering star", 1. Any one of the chief opaque heavenly bodies which revolve around the sun.

What's the problem?
2002-10-08 11:52:51 AM  
""That accompanying image reminded me of the crappy elementary science textbooks rampant in America...

Since when are the orbits perfectly circular? Especially PLUTO'S...which they said in the article itself is wildly elliptical?""

All planetary orbits are elliptical, but some, like the Earth's, are more nearly circular than others. Enough so to be depicted as circles in a textbook illustration (since your eye wouldn't be sharp enough to pick out the ellipse at that scale, anyway). Usually, if the ellipse is illustrated at all, it's greatly exaggerated.
2002-10-08 11:57:04 AM  
Sounds like a problem for Captain Planet.
2002-10-08 12:01:20 PM  
Ack! When did we start getting news from the Christian Science Monitor?
2002-10-08 12:04:50 PM  
This is the spaceship the sneaker cult was waiting for! Hah egg on their faces...
2002-10-08 12:12:46 PM  
10-08-02 11:46:26 AM KRSESQ
PLANET n.(plan'et)Lat. Planeta, "wandering star", 1. Any one of the chief opaque heavenly bodies which revolve around the sun.

What's the problem?

You've merely renamed the debate from "what is a planet?" to "which of the opaque heavenly bodies should one consider to be chief?" - not actually all that helpful.

Personally, I am watching this with great interest. Will Pluto get reclassified or will we start adding new names to the list of planets as we discover more things out there in the Kuiper belt that meet whatever requirements get drawn up? More importantly, when am I going to get the call up for the mission to go explore there?
2002-10-08 12:27:36 PM  
twIne - When I was in college, one of my professors required that we get a subscription to the CSM. It is like a brochure and a complete waste of paper.
2002-10-08 12:29:53 PM  
Everything orbits around the Earth, therefore, they're all our satellites. Let's name them all Sputnik.
2002-10-08 12:31:45 PM  
Who cares if they reclassify plutos status or any other 'planet' for that matter. I doubt anyone will ever have an address with Pluto (the planet) in it.
2002-10-08 12:33:51 PM  
There's also the fact that "Quaoar" is unpronounceable in any language.
2002-10-08 12:33:55 PM  
Quaoar is 1 billion miles from Pluto. Just put a distance limit on what you can call a planet and make it 1 billion miles farther than Pluto. Why change Pluto's status this far into the game? So that some pathetic scientist can beat his geek chest and say that HE redefined Pluto as a Kuiper Belt Object? Fargin' Iceholes.
2002-10-08 12:34:31 PM  
I think we should reclassify the term 'boobies'. There are so many fake ones out there.
2002-10-08 12:45:11 PM  
Incredible! A stupendous moment in my personal history! The perfectly preserved remains of a Quaoar warrior!
2002-10-08 12:53:59 PM  
Because if there is anywhere where I go for science, it's the CSM... blarg.

At any rate, there is a specific height for distinguishing between a mountain and a hill. I remember seeing an Irish movie about it or something. They had a hill that was like 10 feet short of being a mountain, so one night they all went out and added to the top of the hill. I forgot how it ended.
2002-10-08 01:03:02 PM  
I wish we could just go back to the original 7 planets. Much more elegant system.
2002-10-08 01:42:15 PM  
Shouldn't it be called "Rupert"?
2002-10-08 02:22:05 PM  
I would define planet arbitrarily: any opaque heavenly bodies which revolve around the Sun that is Pluto-size or larger and does not orbit a larger opaque heavenly body which revolves around the Sun. If Quaoar is a planet, is Ceres? Chiron? There's no one definition that satisfies every condition, so making it arbitrary is the only way to go.
2002-10-08 02:32:22 PM  
Christian Science Monitor?

Christian Science?!?! WTF?
2002-10-08 02:33:07 PM  

Perhaps I should be the one to inform everyone that "Wandering Star" is also a kickass song by Portishead.

That is all.
2002-10-08 03:14:35 PM  
Still no help on the pond/lake or hill/mountain question? Seriously people, Help a farker out here.
2002-10-08 03:31:13 PM  
Christian science is an oxymoron.
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