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Please make Pluto a planet again...

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
I'm serious.

Last week, some clueless person (or group of people) decided that Pluto is not a planet, because it's orbit crosses Neptune's, and "real" planets don't do that. So it's been re-classified as a dwarf planet.

Why didn't they check with me first, before making the announcement? Why, why, why?

Pluto is ds's favorite planet. He has been planning to travel there, since he was 5, and has already told me to expect him to be gone for 20 years once he figures out how to get there. He's written several papers about it, and he draws it, constantly.

And now, this bombshell.

To say he's obsessed about proving it IS a planet is quite an understatement. He's not sleeping, not eating, and it's all he'll talk about.

I'd like to meet with the group of scientists who decided this. Or, maybe just drop him off, so they can put up with him. He can talk for hours at a time, barely taking a breath, and I"m just so tired. Not of him talking, it's just, I need to sleep.

We're going to the Planetarium, this weekend, I'm hoping he'll be able to make peace, somehow.

And it's not like I can tell him they're just joking, that it still is a planet. He knows better.

I figured all of you would understand this, better than another forum.

I feel a little better now.
post #2 of 16

mine took it quite calmly but he has decided the scientists are wrong and he will prove one day he says
post #3 of 16
so cute

Mine say that they thought it must not be a planet already and were glad that they finally agree. J then immediately took Pluto off of her model of our system which required disassembling the whole thing and carefully placing all the other planets all back in order. She wouldn't eat, go to the bathroom, or do anything until the model was finished again.
post #4 of 16
That's hard, but I guess I'd say that it is a healthy thing for kids interested in science to learn that things are always changing and we are always learning something new. While rigid thought patterns may be normal for five, some people hold on to them forever which is why you'll find college students who are traumatized when they find out that what they learned first about history or whatever isn't correct. And, I'd suggest that is why you find that even after we have information people will rigidly hold on to what they learned first - that's why so many Americans still believe there are weapons of mass destruction.

I would suggest in this case to help him to continue to find out more information because information is power. What are the key characteristics of a planet? How can we find more positive ways to think about this - afterall it isn't that they said that Pluto doesn't exist.

The reaction at our house by the way was "about time" they did something about it.
post #5 of 16
Originally Posted by Roar

I would suggest in this case to help him to continue to find out more information because information is power. What are the key characteristics of a planet? How can we find more positive ways to think about this - afterall it isn't that they said that Pluto doesn't exist.
Yeah, maybe you could channel him into "research". 'Xena' is also a dwarf planet (isn't Xena's moon now as well?). Maybe you could channel his strong interest into finding what Pluto and Xena have in common to make them both dwarf planets?

Also, there's an interesting thread about this on the homeschool board. Apparently, 5 year olds all over the place are upset about this. Mine is too. :-)
post #6 of 16
Check this out. Ds loves this web site and is so excited about the notion.

post #7 of 16
My son said, "Well, duh. Everyone knows that." I guess he has things all figured out, since he's 10 and all.
post #8 of 16
LOL! Sorry, I'm not laughing at you or your plight, but the fact that so many of us are dealing with this issue right now. I find it so ironic that our 5 year olds (and other DC's) are debating this seemingly as heavily as the astronomical and scientific community. How much fun it would be to get all our kids together for a discussion on the subject, how cathartic for them.

At any rate, I'm wondering if we can send back the ceiling mounted solar system we got DD for her last birthday that she watches and listens to before going to bed, seeing as it's now defective. We're looking at this as a wonderful educational opportunity in critical thinking, and in science and its' fluidity. It can be fun to follow the debate and the controversy surrounding the new classification and the addition of 3 dwarf planets. Our DD is handling it in stride.

Have you thought about getting your son involved in the astronomers petition to reclassify it? (http://pleasesavepluto.org/pluto/petition-to-iau/) That may help him direct his frustration to a specific end. We aren't convinced the new classification will stand, and told DD it was still up for debate so I think she's waiting to hear what the community will do next. We're also active in our local astronomy club and go to events at the local observatory and I think listening too and partaking in discussions on the subjects with many others helps her process. There's lots of good web resources out there too that could help give your son an outlet.
post #9 of 16
maybe you guys can go back and revisit what a controversy it was in teh first place to make pluto a planet. how clyde tombaugh's insistance based on flawed lowell's research (he got his math wrong i think) got them to recog. pluto was a planet mainly coz at that time there was no real definition of a planet.
post #10 of 16
Count my ds in the 'Save Pluto' club. He is 13... It's an emotional thing for him, since Pluto has been his favorite planet since age 3. He feels sorry for it.

It's not just kids, though. Here in Germany, the paper headline the day ofter was RETTET PLUTO! - (Save Pluto!)
post #11 of 16


Edited by lotusbeans - 3/16/14 at 1:30am
post #12 of 16
I paid no mind to the announcement. My 10 year old DS mentioned it in passing. He is currently more concerned with volcanic eruption and whether we can get away in time. :
post #13 of 16
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by lotusbeans
This letter was in my local paper and I just loved it:

Change in Pluto’s Status Worrisome

My reason for being dismayed that Pluto might no longer be considered a planet is this: “Mark’s Very Extravagant Mother Just Sent Us Ninety Parakeets.” That’s how I learned the order of the planets when I was in grade school. I suppose I could just say that she “...Sent Us Nunchucks” or something extravagant and crazy like that. What happens when astronomers start adding new planets to the list? What sort of twisted stuff will Mark’s mother be sending? What sort of words will I use to describe Mark or his mother? Could Mark become “Eunuch Mark” or “Snazzy Dresser Mark?” There is no end to this madness. This is a perfect example of mnemonics gone awry, because my mind is spiraling out of control with the new possibilities.

Gabrielle Overfield Gillenwater
Exactly! The whole world has been turned on it's head! :

Well, we went to the Planetarium near us, over the weekend, and while ds understands that maybe it wasn't a 'real' planet, he's still firmly in the "Save Pluto" camp.

I think it's funny that so many of us have kids who had this as their favorite planet.
post #14 of 16
LOL. My 4 year old ds is very into going to Pluto one day. He doesn't seem to mind its change in status. The key for him is that usually it's the FURTHEST from the sun. And the COLDEST. Therefore it will always be special.
post #15 of 16
What about having/asking ds if he would like to write to the scientists? Or a local scientist or professor? The "worst" that happens is that he thinks about it, writes it out, gets it off of his chest and does not get a reply, but has organized his thoughts and feelings. Best that happens is that he does get a reply from a "real live scientist"! I remember listening to NPR a few weeks ago and the head astronomer at the Hayden Planetarium (I think...) was joking that he now has a drawer full of hatemail from kids! He said it in a very funny way (it was not a put down- he continued to talk about who is really impacted by this change, etc.) and he saved all the letters. Often scientists or large organizations may reply with a form letter and sometimes they even write one personally... You never know! You may get a reponse call or a letter that may inspire as well as validate!
post #16 of 16
This thread had me laughing so hard my sides hurt. Only in the gifted kids forum! You have me thanking God that Michael phased out of his space obsession and is currently more interested in medieval times. As long as they don't reclassify types of armor, we're in the clear.
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