Interesting things are afoot in the far dark reaches of the solar system.
Scientists (including my friend Andrew) have announced the discovery of two more moons orbiting Pluto. They’re very small and hard to spot, but they’re real. As our ability to see things in distant space increases, so does the number of new and often amazing things we find.
I wonder what my kids will learn in school when they talk about the solar system. For all of my life, we had this comfortable notion that there are nine planets, and everything was orderly. But now we’ve learned there are other planets on the fringes: Sedna and Quaoar, to name two, and probably many more. They’re bigger than Pluto, and if we call Pluto a planet we must rightfully do the same for them. But some astronomers say Pluto isn’t really a planet– it’s a “Kuiper Belt Object”. There’s no rigid definition of what a planet really is, making the debate quite lively.
I always love seeing scientific knowledge expand, and watching as we change our view on the world to match it. My kids are definitely going to learn some new things…