[FoRK] Fw: {MPML} My Very Excellent Mother Visited Civilized Prague... (Hey! This ,Xylophone Seems To Need 47 More Adjectives!)

Joseph S. Barrera III < joe at barrera.org > on > Sat Aug 19 10:42:08 PDT 2006

For the possible amusement of anyone following
the whole planet demotion/promotion debate...

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: 	{MPML} My Very Excellent Mother Visited Civilized Prague...
Date: 	Thu, 17 Aug 2006 17:46:12 -0000
From: 	David <sturmde at yahoo.com>
To: 	mpml at yahoogroups.com

Friends, Rome-ons, Wanderers, Plutons....  Thought I'd share with you 
a parody article I'm compelled to find myself writing.  Enjoy, if you 
like!  David...
My Very Excellent Mother Could Just Serve Us Nuts, Pizza Charred'n' 
My Very Excellent Mother Verily Could Possibly Happily Just Serve Us 
Nothing, Or Pizzas Charred, Verily Sweets, Quick Eggs -- Hey! This 
Xylophone Seems To Need 47 More Adjectives

Holy Planets of Prague, Batman!  I can just see the joy on the faces 
of freshman astronomy students now!  Imagine if we expanded the HR 
diagram too!  "Why oh, be a fine gender(-non-specific), kiss me right 
now, SMACK, tingle, doy-ngggg"... Oh, wait that already almost 
happened.  Back to "Oh be a fine gender(-non-specific), kiss me".  
Then again, maybe it's not so bad.  After all, classically there were 
only four elements until someone got that quintessence idea going.  
Or aether... but let's speed on.  Chemically, elements keep cropping 
up now and then without too much difficulty.  Yet, no one's about to 
have a vial of seaborgium meitnerate to play with so we don't see 
chemists fret too much (outside of IUPAC, of course).  As it is, 
it'll be years before the average high school classroom has 
roentgenium and darmstadtium on the charts.  You're lucky if they 
have dubnium, indubitably!  Yet, the periodic table has expanded over 
time.  Maybe we just need a periodic table of planets?  So, let me 
propose this:

Table I.  The Periodic Table of Planets
1	Hg	Ve	Te	Ma	(Ce) and someday (Vs) (Pd) 
2	Jo	Sa	U	Np	(Pu) (Ch) (Ub313) and 
countless other "transition planets"

Sure, that works.  Mercury (Hg, of course!), Venus, Earth and Mars 
all retain their place in the grid... as do Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus 
and Neptune.  Period 1 is the row containing rock worlds (or rockons 
if you prefer!  Dude!)... Period 2 is the row containing worlds with 
more volatiles... (volatons, of course!)  These 8 primary planet-
elements need a good name, and I quantize them as "eigenplanets".  
I'm sure you'll all value that name.

Group I planets are nearest the Sun in their period.  Group IV 
planets are chilliest.  Group V can expand like Group VIII on the 
periodic table to include all the flotsam.  If you want, we could 
call inner belt dwarf planets, such as Ceres and maybe later Pallas, 
Vesta and Hygeia as Lanthanon planets.  Outer belters could become 
Actinon planets.  And, by simply applying existing IUPAC rules (an 
organiztion very comparable to IAU in decree-manufacturing!), 2003 
UB313 "Xena" officially can be named Binilniltri-yoobee-triuntrion!  
I'm sure Mike Brown would only but approve as long as we said it was 
a planet on the periodic table of planets.  Maybe we could put it in 
like superactinides and start Period 3 with UB313 and Sedna.  Then 
again, Chad Trujillo might have preferred Athene, but why shouldn't 
IAU rules be more important?  If many astronomers say a planet should 
be called George, who are we to disagree?  Wait, you mean we don't 
call it George anymore?  Darn.

That of course is the not-so-almost-recommended acronym for "small 
solar system planetesimal objects".  Shouldn't R2 D2 (randomly-
rotating dense damocloids, of course) be not far behind?  Getting 
back to the periodic table idea though, one can easily imagine a 
trilinear chart of all the S3PO's.  All the little (as I thus call 
them) iso-objects would have their rows (a) and columns (i and e).  I 
know we're all lamenting "minor planet" being discarded.  But can't 
we stake out "minor planetesimal"?  After all, planetesimals are all 
the pieces left behind after the holy planets of Prague have been 
formed!  So, the MPC lives!  The Minor Planetesimal Center has a few 
extra letters, but it has often been proven that adding letters is a 
good idea.  (After all, isn't George W. Bush an improvement over 
George Bush?  Although, maybe Kerrey is better than Kerry...)  I find 
it much better than making them rename all their webpages from mpc to 
something like sssbc!  Someone please tell me why 'bodies' is better 
than 'objects', by the way?  Is solar system space a graveyard?  
(Actually, in a way, it is though!)  Okay, I'll give in that college 
classes in astronomy named "Bodies In Motion" do tend to attract more 
registrants.  Perhaps someday though, "miner planets" will be those 
with major mining operations underway...  In this sense, Earth is 
very much the first "miner planet".

Only one chair at the table per couple, please.  With all the other 
wonky additions in the IAU definition of a planet, why not also have 
added "and any object qualifying as a planet must be the majority of 
the mass with the same solar orbit characteristics (a, e, i.... [oh, 
you!])"  This way Pluto stays, but Charon goes.  Why bother?  Well, 
the definition IAU has created is over longer time scales, rather 
arbitrary.  At its formation, the Pluto-Charon barycenter might well 
have been inside Pluto.  Let Charon be called an "co-planet", or a 
companion planet (or my suggested IAU term, "complane").  Another 
attendant suggestion would be "attendant" in the same vein 
as "satellite".   After all, a "planet" does define and orbital plane 
about the Sun.  This makes it a "plane-ette".  Do you need more than 
one orbital object to define this plane?  I say no, so one planet per 
plane works.

If we get multiversal, this leads to the excellent idea that an 
object of some mass travelling on a brane becomes a branet.  And of 
course, a mass on my automobile's brake is a braket.  But I dirac, 
erm, digress...

Right now, the Earth-Moon barycenter is inside Earth.  But in due 
course, as the Moon's orbit expands due to tidal effects, when is the 
magic point at which the barycenter is 0.003 cm above the surface of 
the Earth?  Because at that "magic moment", the Moon also becomes an 
official IAU Planet.  Do we call it a "Planet In Waiting", a "Prince 
of Wales (hey, no mixed drinks!) Planet"?  Fortunately, to paraphrase 
what Keynes pointed out famously... none of us will be around to see 

I am amused by both the pure thievery of absconding a geological term 
and the lack of creativity in taking the name of Pluto, in a large 
number of Earthly languages rendered as "Pluton", and thus 
stating "Pluton" is a "pluton".  A cigar is a cigar, too.  (No EL61 
reference intended!)  Do they not ever consider to talk to others?  I 
know that "ice dwarf planet" had some expecting Ernest Borgnine to 
break through with a submarine at any moment... but why miss out on 
the opportunity of calling 
them "isoplanets"?  They all have similar characteristics, thus they 
occupy some sort of "isobar": plus you get "ice" worked in there in a 
clever way.  

What's next for the committee?  Should we let them move on to more 
tasks?  A good definition of satellites?   At the rate discovery is 
going in finding both shepherd satellites (and Sheppard satellites!), 
a pair of tennis shoes inserted into Jovian orbit will require the 
name of a long-lost love or forgotten relative of Jupiter.  Is 
Apostrophoë or worse yet Nikë and Adidasaë far behind?  (Lest I 
forget, there is a Nike already!)  Corporate sponsorship of naming 
small solar system objects could bring in the bucks.  Look how much 
those so-called morons make selling star names!  Doesn't cost them 
much to do that, does it?

Perhaps we can officially define moons as Major Orbiting Objects 
Nearby (MOONs).  Given a sphericity limit as the dividing line, 
anything non-spherical becomes a Minor Orbiting Object, Non-
spherical, Lumpy, Endothermic, or Tiny (MOONLETs).

Then again, knowing the IAU, there would be a preference for calling 
them "satellons" or "sat-ons" for short.  But then small satellites 
can be christned satellettes, or satellinos!  Even worse, perhaps 
Jupiter's become jovellinos, Saturn's alone are satellinos... Don't 
miss out on the uranellinos!  (And are Nix and Hydra then 
plutonellinos?  Don't get me started on the Binilnitri-yoobee-
triuntrionellino!  Ni!  Bring a shrubbery, too.)  Not that bad when 
you think about it though: our Moon becomes a nice-sounding 
terrellon, Phobos and Deimos are martellinos (isn't that an olive?), 
and the Galileans are jovellons.  And on the "converse", those tennis 
shoes my brother took from me years ago and threw into apparent Earth 
orbit are now terrellinos.  (Which are getting more activity than 
Dallas' terrell-owens!  Hmmm, perhaps they're really binary 
terrellinos on second thought!)

<i>Note:  David once some years ago encouraged the naming of a small 
solar system body (what we used to call minor planets, not Paris 
Hilton!) after the Greek primordial creation concept of Chaos.  How 
prescient, eh?</i>
David E G Sturm - sturmde at maine.edu - 1.207.581.1241
--Physics & Astronomy Instructional Laboratories
--Mainely Physics Road Show
Dept of Physics & Astronomy -- University of Maine
5709 Bennett Hall -- Orono ME 04469-5709

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