I had all sorts of ideas lined up for today. Mostly random stuff: Stories of bathroom etiquette, things to do while bored at an airport, geoengineering strategies, etc. But when two articles about my two favorite denizens of our fair solar system popped up in my feed this week, I had to play to my strengths.
Today’s comic guest stars Dr. Matthew R. Francis, who is a science writer I follow on twitter whose work you’ve probably seen in publications such as Ars Technica, Double X Science, and Wired Science. We bonded over folks taking Pluto being referred to as an “iceball” a little too seriously and I drew him into the comic*. In case you hadn’t heard, a few days ago it was discovered that Pluto has a 5th moon. Frankly, I didn’t remember three and four, but there it is, P5. It’s not likely to be the last rocky chunk we find orbiting the solar system’s largest dwarf planet, either. As Matthew points out in his post, the interesting thing is that all of the moons orbit on the same plane and in the same direction—likely hinting that they all formed around the same time. So, nice try, Pluto. It doesn’t count if you had them all already. Not that having moons is any defining factor of being a planet, anyway. Even asteroids have moons.
I see the tears welling up in your eyes again. Don’t get me wrong, my jocular ribbing comes from a good place. I feel for our lost planet, and in the twilight of my life (Which I call “Makidämmerung“) will speak fondly of the olden days when our solar system had nine. But until then, Pluto will always be an iceball.
Oh, and while we’re hating on things, check out this article in Slate about not being able to un-see constellations.
*Pluto’s moons were originally much more crudely drawn before I added Matt. It looked strange with him so lovingly rendered, so I spruced up the rest of the bunch to match.
Apologies to Les Jenkins over at Stupid Evil Bastard, who I promise I will draw into a comic someday.