The Pluto Debate and Discovery of "Dark Matter."
So Pluto is no longer a planet. Now we have to rewrite all the Astronomy books. I guess that makes it a little bit easier to memorize the planets.
In the recent meeting with the IAU, or the International Astronomical Union, they decided on Thursday (8/24/2006) that Pluto was now termed a “Dwarf Planet.” So we now have 8 planets and 3 of these (thus far) dwarf planets: Pluto, Charon and 2003 UB313.
I actually like this change. Even though it seems only to be a change in nomenclature, it’s gotten people to think more about the Solar System and the Universe we live in, which is always good. Before this debate, when was the last time you thought about the planets?
In other interesting astronomical news, scientists say they’ve actually discovered the so-called “Dark Matter” they’ve long been speculating about. Apparently, in a rare occurrence , Nature has made this Dark Matter readily visible to us by the collisions of 2 galaxies. The result was the “regular” matter clustered in the middle, with the Dark Matter on either side. It wasn’t actually visible, but its effects were clearly seen.
Pretty interesting stuff. It’s amazing what technology can do for us.