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Dwarf planets are not planets. There are 8 planets.


Stashed in: The Universe, @neiltyson

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This infographic is wrong.

There are 8 planets. You don't get to choose.

From "You're not a nerd, geeks aren't sexy and you don't 'fucking love' science":

The reason people say there are 8 planets is because there are 8 planets. A casual reader coming away from this post might conclude that this is one of those "ah-hah!" moments that the Internet is famous for, where "EVERYTHING-YOU-THOUGHT-YOU-KNEW-WAS-WRONG," except it isn't. Pluto, Haumea, Makemake, Eris and Ceres aren't "planets." You don't get to "choose 8 or 13 planets." And there aren't "13 if you know them all by name." Your ability to name planets has no bearing on whether or not they exist. There will be the same number of planets whether you acknowledge it or not. There's a great article at Universe Today explaining why Pluto is not a planet and why it doesn't meet the requirements in order to be classified as one ("dwarf planets" aren't the same).

Not only is this infographic wrong, it's lazy. It references 8, 13, 9 planets and even references the discovery of a "10th planet." What pisses me off even more is that IFLS' own messiah, Neil deGrasse Tyson, removed Pluto's distinction as a planet as director of the Hayden Planetarium, despite this infographic's convoluted insistence to the contrary.

People love science in the same way they love classical music or art. Science and "geeky" subjects are perceived as being hip, cool and intellectual. So people take a passing interest just long enough to glom onto these labels and call themselves "geeks" or "nerds" every chance they get. I feel a sharp pang in my head every time some moron on Twitter or Facebook says something like "i'm doing my homework i'm such a nerd LOL!!!" Wrong, fuck belch. You're not a nerd for doing your assigned homework. Since when did it become cool to label yourself a "nerd" anyway? It's an artificial counter-culture construct exploited by stupid websites.

Amen.

One more time: Pluto is not a planet.

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