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Re: [sct-user] The 66 Craze: On Uncle Rod's Astro Blob!

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  • John Mahony
    ... The vote was open to the all IAU members. ... Nobody. The IAU makes rules for themselves. As a technicality, during the space race in the 60 s, the US
    Message 1 of 16 , Sep 1, 2006
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      --- Frank Sperl <astro@...> wrote:

      > Next thing you know is that they will convene a large group of morons
      > that should know better and only give the vote to a few

      The vote was open to the all IAU members.

      >- they are the
      > ones that will decree that the World is flat and you will have to take
      > their word for it. It will give new meaning to living "down under".
      > Almost sounds like a political process. Besides who put the "Thems" in
      > charge of defining planets and non-planets,

      Nobody. The IAU makes rules for themselves.

      As a technicality, during the "space race" in the 60's, the US and Russia (and
      probably many other nations) signed a UN treaty that forbade countries from
      claiming land on other solar system bodies. A minor detail in that agreement
      recognized the IAU as the official arbiter of _names_ for objects in the solar
      system (which is why the "International Star Registry" can sell "star names" to
      suckers, but can't legally sell names for solar system objects).

      One reason the IAU needed to define "planet" was that a new object had been
      found out in the Kuiper belt that was slightly larger than Pluto. The
      discoverer wanted to call it a planet, but there was a growing awareness among
      astronomers that Pluto was just one of the larger of a huge number of objects
      in the Kuiper belt, so to start calling even a fraction of them "planets" would
      lead to a very large list. The same thing happened when the first asteroids
      were discovered. They were originally called planets, until it was recognized
      that there were many of them in a belt, and that all of them were much smaller
      than the other "planets". Pluto's size was originally badly overestimated, and
      at the time it was discovered it was not known that there was an entire belt of
      them out there.

      So when the new "slightly larger than Pluto" Kuiper belt object was discovered,
      it was hard to say it wasn't a planet if Pluto was, but there _was_ no formal
      definition. And the IAU has different proceedures for naming planets vs naming
      asteroids, so they needed a definition in order to decide which IAU
      subcommittee should name the new object.

      > sounds so 1984-ish.
      > Little Brother is controlling your world and the weather.

      Legally, the IAU is only in charge of _naming_ objects. But that's only a
      minor technicality in the overall picture of what they do. More generally,
      they're the international professional organization for astronomers. They make
      rules for themselves, and astronomers generally accept that, because with
      10000+ astronomers in the world, things would get confusing in a hurry if there
      wasn't someone setting some standards, generally after extensive debates by
      panels of experts. Technical info in textbooks generally follows the IAU's
      guidelines, because astronomy students should know what professional
      astronomers call things. But legally, you're free to continue calling Pluto a
      planet if you really want to. You can call the earth flat if you want to, or
      argue that the sun orbits the earth, and no one will arrest you or threaten to
      excommunicate you. But those who know anything about those subjects will give
      you an odd look.

      I'm sure there is a similar organization for people in the machine business,
      and they probably set standards for thread specs of bolts. But in your machine
      shop, you can still make a 1/4" bolt with 32.4 threads per inch and no one will
      arrest you. But don't expect to find a market for that bolt.

      Even the discoverer of the new "potential planet" admitted before the vote that
      demoting Pluto was the scientifically correct thing to do.

      -John



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    • Dan
      Thad, I own one of thee 66mm beauts and have to disagree with your comment on unsrewing the objective the hide some Rebel yell there really is not enough
      Message 2 of 16 , Sep 1, 2006
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        Thad,
        I own one of thee 66mm beauts and have to disagree with your
        comment on "unsrewing the objective the hide some Rebel yell" there
        really is not enough room to hold enough booze to get a buzz. ;)
        It still is a pretty decent scope for 199.

        danny
        --- In sct-user@yahoogroups.com, "Thad Floryan" <thad@...> wrote:
        >
        > --- In sct-user@yahoogroups.com, rmollise@ <rmollise@> wrote:
        > >
        > > Hi:
        > >
        > > Well, yeah, it's amazing...folks are crawling all over themselves
        > > to buy 2-inch telescopes. Now that I've used one for a while,
        however,
        > > I understand why people want one. ;-)
        >
        > WHat are they doing with such a teeny, tiny, teensy, miniature
        scope?
        > Sticking it up the baffle tube of a real scope (i.e., SCT) or
        using it
        > instead of an eyepiece on a diagonal? An OTA that small might
        also be
        > a good stirring rod (no pun) for kitchen use (e.g., pancake
        batter, etc)
        >
        > Unscrew its objective and I bet one could "hide" some Rebel Yell
        inside
        > the OTA and be able to enter venues where one is not allowed to
        bring
        > one's own drinks.
        >
        > :-)
        >
      • Robert J Steppe
        Dear John, I am sorry, but I cannot agree. The problem of finding a rigid, scientific definition of a planet is a problem without a solution. What a waste of
        Message 3 of 16 , Sep 2, 2006
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          Dear John,



          I am sorry, but I cannot agree. The problem of finding a rigid,
          scientific definition of a planet is a problem without a solution. What
          a waste of time on an unnecessary pursuit.



          The result should have been obvious: We have said that there are 12
          planets. We have given them names. So we leave it at that.



          Had the IAU said that it would have been official and that would have
          been that.



          Respectfully,



          Robert Steppe





          -----Original Message-----
          From: sct-user@yahoogroups.com [mailto:sct-user@yahoogroups.com] On
          Behalf Of John Mahony
          Sent: Friday, September 01, 2006 4:02 AM
          To: sct-user@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: Re: [sct-user] The 66 Craze: On Uncle Rod's Astro Blob!



          --- Frank Sperl <astro@.... <mailto:astro%40cfl.rr.com> com> wrote:

          > Next thing you know is that they will convene a large group of morons
          > that should know better and only give the vote to a few

          The vote was open to the all IAU members.

          >- they are the
          > ones that will decree that the World is flat and you will have to take

          > their word for it. It will give new meaning to living "down under".
          > Almost sounds like a political process. Besides who put the "Thems" in

          > charge of defining planets and non-planets,

          Nobody. The IAU makes rules for themselves.

          As a technicality, during the "space race" in the 60's, the US and
          Russia (and
          probably many other nations) signed a UN treaty that forbade countries
          from
          claiming land on other solar system bodies. A minor detail in that
          agreement
          recognized the IAU as the official arbiter of _names_ for objects in the
          solar
          system (which is why the "International Star Registry" can sell "star
          names" to
          suckers, but can't legally sell names for solar system objects).

          One reason the IAU needed to define "planet" was that a new object had
          been
          found out in the Kuiper belt that was slightly larger than Pluto. The
          discoverer wanted to call it a planet, but there was a growing awareness
          among
          astronomers that Pluto was just one of the larger of a huge number of
          objects
          in the Kuiper belt, so to start calling even a fraction of them
          "planets" would
          lead to a very large list. The same thing happened when the first
          asteroids
          were discovered. They were originally called planets, until it was
          recognized
          that there were many of them in a belt, and that all of them were much
          smaller
          than the other "planets". Pluto's size was originally badly
          overestimated, and
          at the time it was discovered it was not known that there was an entire
          belt of
          them out there.

          So when the new "slightly larger than Pluto" Kuiper belt object was
          discovered,
          it was hard to say it wasn't a planet if Pluto was, but there _was_ no
          formal
          definition. And the IAU has different proceedures for naming planets vs
          naming
          asteroids, so they needed a definition in order to decide which IAU
          subcommittee should name the new object.

          > sounds so 1984-ish.
          > Little Brother is controlling your world and the weather.

          Legally, the IAU is only in charge of _naming_ objects. But that's only
          a
          minor technicality in the overall picture of what they do. More
          generally,
          they're the international professional organization for astronomers.
          They make
          rules for themselves, and astronomers generally accept that, because
          with
          10000+ astronomers in the world, things would get confusing in a hurry
          if there
          wasn't someone setting some standards, generally after extensive debates
          by
          panels of experts. Technical info in textbooks generally follows the
          IAU's
          guidelines, because astronomy students should know what professional
          astronomers call things. But legally, you're free to continue calling
          Pluto a
          planet if you really want to. You can call the earth flat if you want
          to, or
          argue that the sun orbits the earth, and no one will arrest you or
          threaten to
          excommunicate you. But those who know anything about those subjects will
          give
          you an odd look.

          I'm sure there is a similar organization for people in the machine
          business,
          and they probably set standards for thread specs of bolts. But in your
          machine
          shop, you can still make a 1/4" bolt with 32.4 threads per inch and no
          one will
          arrest you. But don't expect to find a market for that bolt.

          Even the discoverer of the new "potential planet" admitted before the
          vote that
          demoting Pluto was the scientifically correct thing to do.

          -John

          __________________________________________________
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          Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around
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          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Rod Mollise
          I hate to revive this (you ever notice that when people say they hate to do something, that means that s just what they are gonna do? ;-))...but... The
          Message 4 of 16 , Sep 4, 2006
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            I hate to revive this (you ever notice that when people say they 'hate' to
            do something, that means that's just what they are gonna do? ;-))...but...

            The problem with "Pluto is a planet, Xena is a planet, Charon is a planet"
            is...where do we stop? Will the first-graders wind up memorizing the names
            of 120 planets? 1200 planets?

            The overriding fact is that Pluto and Xena and Charon are a lot alike, from
            what we can tell, and they are a lot different from the major planets of the
            Solar System, either the terrestrial planets or the gas giants. Frankly, I
            think the IAU did a fine job under difficult circumstances. Had I been
            asked? I'd have told 'em:

            "UH-UH...NOSIR BUDDY! UNCLE ROD SAYS WE AIN'T A-TOUCHIN' THAT ONE WITH A
            10-FOOT POLE!" ;-)

            Peace,
            Rod Mollise
            Author of:
            Choosing and Using a Schmidt Cassegrain Telescope
            and
            The Urban Astronomer's Guide
            <http://skywatch.brainiac.com/astroland>
            The Annual SCT User Imaging Contest is Underway!
            <http://www.rothritter.com/contest/2006/>

            -----Original Message-----
            From: sct-user@yahoogroups.com [mailto:sct-user@yahoogroups.com]On Behalf
            Of Robert J Steppe
            Sent: Saturday, September 02, 2006 10:53 AM
            To: sct-user@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: RE: [sct-user] The 66 Craze: On Uncle Rod's Astro Blob! - RJS
            comment


            Dear John,

            I am sorry, but I cannot agree. The problem of finding a rigid,
            scientific definition of a planet is a problem without a solution. What
            a waste of time on an unnecessary pursuit.

            The result should have been obvious: We have said that there are 12
            planets. We have given them names. So we leave it at that.

            Had the IAU said that it would have been official and that would have
            been that.


            .



            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • John Mahony
            ... It wasn t quite unnecessary. As I said, they are in charge of naming objects, and they have different proceedures depending on what type of object is
            Message 5 of 16 , Sep 6, 2006
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              --- Robert J Steppe <robertjsteppe@...> wrote:

              > Dear John,
              >
              > I am sorry, but I cannot agree. The problem of finding a rigid,
              > scientific definition of a planet is a problem without a solution. What
              > a waste of time on an unnecessary pursuit.

              It wasn't quite unnecessary. As I said, they are in charge of naming objects,
              and they have different proceedures depending on what type of object is
              involved. So they needed to know what category 2003 UB313 fell in.


              > The result should have been obvious: We have said that there are 12
              > planets. We have given them names. So we leave it at that.

              They never said that. That was a definition suggested by a small committee
              appointed by the IAU leadership. The committee was appointed specifically to
              _suggest_ a definition- it was never intended that that committee would have
              the only say in the matter. Their suggestion was immediately met with strong
              resistance when it was opened to discussion by the entire IAU. Would you
              prefer that a small appointed committee have the final say?

              > Had the IAU said that it would have been official and that would have
              > been that.

              It is official now that it was voted on in a vote open to the whole IAU. And
              that is that.

              -John


              >
              > Respectfully,
              >
              > Robert Steppe
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > -----Original Message-----
              > From: sct-user@yahoogroups.com [mailto:sct-user@yahoogroups.com] On
              > Behalf Of John Mahony
              > Sent: Friday, September 01, 2006 4:02 AM
              > To: sct-user@yahoogroups.com
              > Subject: Re: [sct-user] The 66 Craze: On Uncle Rod's Astro Blob!
              >
              >
              >
              > --- Frank Sperl <astro@.... <mailto:astro%40cfl.rr.com> com> wrote:
              >
              > > Next thing you know is that they will convene a large group of morons
              > > that should know better and only give the vote to a few
              >
              > The vote was open to the all IAU members.
              >
              > >- they are the
              > > ones that will decree that the World is flat and you will have to take
              >
              > > their word for it. It will give new meaning to living "down under".
              > > Almost sounds like a political process. Besides who put the "Thems" in
              >
              > > charge of defining planets and non-planets,
              >
              > Nobody. The IAU makes rules for themselves.
              >
              > As a technicality, during the "space race" in the 60's, the US and
              > Russia (and
              > probably many other nations) signed a UN treaty that forbade countries
              > from
              > claiming land on other solar system bodies. A minor detail in that
              > agreement
              > recognized the IAU as the official arbiter of _names_ for objects in the
              > solar
              > system (which is why the "International Star Registry" can sell "star
              > names" to
              > suckers, but can't legally sell names for solar system objects).
              >
              > One reason the IAU needed to define "planet" was that a new object had
              > been
              > found out in the Kuiper belt that was slightly larger than Pluto. The
              > discoverer wanted to call it a planet, but there was a growing awareness
              > among
              > astronomers that Pluto was just one of the larger of a huge number of
              > objects
              > in the Kuiper belt, so to start calling even a fraction of them
              > "planets" would
              > lead to a very large list. The same thing happened when the first
              > asteroids
              > were discovered. They were originally called planets, until it was
              > recognized
              > that there were many of them in a belt, and that all of them were much
              > smaller
              > than the other "planets". Pluto's size was originally badly
              > overestimated, and
              > at the time it was discovered it was not known that there was an entire
              > belt of
              > them out there.
              >
              > So when the new "slightly larger than Pluto" Kuiper belt object was
              > discovered,
              > it was hard to say it wasn't a planet if Pluto was, but there _was_ no
              > formal
              > definition. And the IAU has different proceedures for naming planets vs
              > naming
              > asteroids, so they needed a definition in order to decide which IAU
              > subcommittee should name the new object.
              >
              > > sounds so 1984-ish.
              > > Little Brother is controlling your world and the weather.
              >
              > Legally, the IAU is only in charge of _naming_ objects. But that's only
              > a
              > minor technicality in the overall picture of what they do. More
              > generally,
              > they're the international professional organization for astronomers.
              > They make
              > rules for themselves, and astronomers generally accept that, because
              > with
              > 10000+ astronomers in the world, things would get confusing in a hurry
              > if there
              > wasn't someone setting some standards, generally after extensive debates
              > by
              > panels of experts. Technical info in textbooks generally follows the
              > IAU's
              > guidelines, because astronomy students should know what professional
              > astronomers call things. But legally, you're free to continue calling
              > Pluto a
              > planet if you really want to. You can call the earth flat if you want
              > to, or
              > argue that the sun orbits the earth, and no one will arrest you or
              > threaten to
              > excommunicate you. But those who know anything about those subjects will
              > give
              > you an odd look.
              >
              > I'm sure there is a similar organization for people in the machine
              > business,
              > and they probably set standards for thread specs of bolts. But in your
              > machine
              > shop, you can still make a 1/4" bolt with 32.4 threads per inch and no
              > one will
              > arrest you. But don't expect to find a market for that bolt.
              >
              > Even the discoverer of the new "potential planet" admitted before the
              > vote that
              > demoting Pluto was the scientifically correct thing to do.
              >
              > -John
              >

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