26 August 2006

My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nine Pizzas

For those who love mnemonics to remember basic listing of general knowledge thingamajigs, the above represents the arrangement of the nine planets of our Solar System (Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto).

However, astronomy books and this mnemonic will have to undergo some changes soon. Pluto, as voted upon by the International Astronomical Union (IAU), is no longer considered a planet.

A planet is now distinctly defined as "a celestial body that (a) is in orbit around the Sun, (b) has sufficient mass for its self-gravity to overcome rigid body forces so that it assumes a hydrostatic equilibrium (nearly round) shape, and (c) has cleared the neighbourhood around its orbit."

I believe Pluto has a little problem with item (b) and (c). It's quite small to attain self-gravity and attract the small objects in its orbit and clear it off its path.

Pluto has been demoted to "dwarf planet" category instead, alongside 2003 UB313 (temporary name), which is a celestial body found orbiting outside Pluto's and is roughly the same size as the latter. In which case many argued how come UB313 (codenamed Xena) is not being classified as a planet when Pluto is?

I wonder what became of another orbiting celestial body called Planet X which we learned about in my late high school years? It was also found orbiting outside Pluto but its path is vertical as opposed to the known planet's horizontal orbit (when a simplified drawing is made).

Now, the more compelling question is, how are astrologers affected in their readings for the alignment of planets and the zodiac signs? Think of the dire consequences to fortune-telling! :-)

Happy weekend, everyone!

Read more at the IAU website
Photo credit: Physics at Capilano College


  1. kuya nick,
    i beleive pluto, 2003 UB13 and another celestial body whose name escapes me belong to a category called 'plutons.' these are planets who exhibit pluto-like qualities (that is, they also have problems with characteristics c & d, as you put it ;) ) so that means, we now have 12 planets in our solar system and still counting. :D

  2. While watching the news about Pluto my 8 yr old son asked what will happen to their science book now. Do they need to remove also Pluto there? Kawawa naman daw yung Pluto...bakit sya tinanggal.

  3. My Very Elegant Mother Just Served Us Nine Papayas

    baket iba na ang mnemonics mo... hehehe just asking lang po!

    So Pluto is no longer considered as a Planet. Tama si justin, yung anak ni tita ann, kawawa naman si Pluto!

  4. From now on, ang mnemonic mo na ay "My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Niyog"


  5. LOL watson on the dilemma astrologers are gonna have.

    I thought pluto had a moon. It must've been demoted to a "dwarf moon" as well. Pluto could a file height/size discrimination case against the scientists.

    P.S. Ate Sienna... hahaha.. nabaliw ako sa niyog.

  6. Anonymous5:07 pm

    I didn't know about that mnemonic. I just memorized the order. :)

    My kids and I were also talking about this after we saw it on the news. It's kind of sad, diba? We're so used to having Pluto as the ninth planet tapos parang na-itsapwera siya.

  7. Hello meowok, hanggang ngayon nalilito ako sa category ng Pluto as a "dwarf" or "minor" planet... as far as I know hindi na sya counted kasi.

    Hi Ann! Nakakalito di ba? Well, at least, alam ng kids na even science is a work in progress.

    Mommy Lei, demoted si Pluto. Di ba god of gods yun sa mythology? Wawa nga.

    Ate Sienna, i-recommend natin yan sa schools hehehe

    Alternati, paano nga kaya yun ano? "According to the alignment of all nine este eight planets with Pluto having the most influence in your life... ay wait hindi pala ..." hehehe

    Niceheart, mukhang maraming affected na kids ah.

  8. Actually... feeling NG... Mr. Mike Brown, whom the science world refers to as the "PLANET HUNTER" has long forseen the changes amongst the planet...it's only this time that scientist really took notice of this weird event...

    But anyhow...I think the conspiracy theory there is maybe that since Pluto is so far, no one can ever reach it...hahahahahahaha...kaya ayun, it suffered from a tragic fate of being thrown out of the 9 planets...

    Pero, for astologers worldwide...I think taking Pluto out of the scene can really cause a riot...diba... may super-mega chuva pa si nostradamus about the alignment of the planets means worldwar 3 or something....

    does this mean, world destruction is never again possible???? hahahahaha

  9. yes follen. pati si nostradamus nalito na. hehehe

  10. Anonymous9:58 pm

    since na de-throne na si Pluto the Dwarf, can somebody ask if Snow White can adopt her instead? wawa kasi..no more friends in the Solar System =)

  11. My Very Elderly Mother Just Saw Us Near Pluto was how I learned it. Now I guess she just saw us near.

  12. One less planet to memorize...I don't have a problem with that. But, I LOVE the name Pluto, didn't they name the planet after the Disney character? Sheesh! We should change Uranus to Pluto. I never liked that planet's name anyway...sounds like someone elses "u know what."


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