You know what this picture is? This is Pluto and Charon orbiting each other. Pluto, which used to be one of the big boys, was re-classified as dwarf planet, partly due to the efforts of a certain famous astrophysicist and perhaps changed after discovering similarly sized planets in the Kuiper belt.

Pluto is just a dwarf planet, like Ceres or Haumea or Eris or other small planets often orbited by one or more moons. (Pluto has five moons). Sad trombone for Pluto. It can no longer play with the big boys. Pluto was always the American planet because it was discovered by a Kansas man named Clyde Tombaugh, who was working on behalf of Percival Lowell, who imagined a planet beyond Neptune. So when it was reclassified, Pluto did not just weep. America did. Or some Americans (there were major protests at the reclassification).

As you all may know, Pluto was named after the Roman (though he also appeared in Greek myths under this name as well as Hades) God of the Underworld, fitting for the icy planet deep in the depths of Space. The Moons include Charon (the ferryman who would transport the dead into the underworld), Styx (the river that flows into the Underworld,carrying the deceased), Nix (the Goddess of Night), Hydra (the multiheaded serpent) and Kerberos or Cereberus, the multiheaded dog that guarded the underworld, keeping those people in Hades. And I do admire the namers of the Planets for sticking with a theme. I mean, we get it, Pluto is nothing but death.


I always kind of liked Pluto because it seemed to represent the depths of the unconscious, because it was always so distant and unknowable. Just some planet plunging through spaceā€”occasionally crossing paths with Neptune but mostly distant and alone. Somehow, seeing it reclassified and paired with other dwarf planets, most of which reach further and further into space either give it a greater depth or ruins the romance of it all. But I bet there is still great skiing. But get it during it's warm period when it is a balmy -369 rather than its colder months, when you need an extra sweater and it is a frigid -387. So anyway, this is my brief statement on Pluto, A Mickey Mouse Planet. (that is what my Mork Doll used to say at least)

Ps. Here is Pluto in fiction and also here, something that I may revisit and further explore during this week.