Pluto demoted from “dwarf planet” to “star faerie”
In a surprise announcement, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) has stated that Pluto will no longer be considered a dwarf planet, and will henceforth be known as a “star faerie”.
The move follows the 2006 decision in which Pluto was downgraded from planet to dwarf planet.
“If Jupiter and Saturn are giant planets, then, realistically, regular sized planets would be ones like Neptune and Uranus,” said IAU president Pierre LaForge. “That means that planets like Earth, Mars, and Venus are really the true dwarf planets, and miserable little lumps like Pluto are not. They’re just nothing. We’re being generous even letting it keep the name Pluto.”
LaForge added, “We have decided to give Pluto its own category, Star Faerie. Like the word dwarf, it conjures up images of a magical creature, but one that is tiny and insubstantial and pointless in nature, and which can be crushed between the finger and thumb.”
According to Sergey Moskov, from the Russian National Observatory, the decision is based on solid science.
“Let’s say the planets were genetically engineered creatures,” said Moskov. “Jupiter and Saturn would be huge ogres with crocodile scales. Neptune would be a ferocious Triceratops-like creature, while Earth would be a bold warrior, a hybrid of human and lion. But Pluto would be like a piece of floating gray fluff, lurching through the outer reaches of the solar system in a drunken stupor, and reeking of body odor and stale vomit.”
Said Moskov: “These are the scientific reasons we astronomers are disgusted by Pluto.”
But others believe the true motives are political in nature.
“Pluto was discovered by Americans,” said astronomy expert Chip Sagan. “These European astronomers hate the fact that we Americans have our own planet and they don’t. They also don’t like that it’s named after a beloved cartoon dog. They have been gunning for it ever since it was discovered.”
Sagan pointed to American studies which show that, in a planet battle, Pluto would be not a drunken reprobate, but a valuable ally.
“In Lord of the Rings, the Dwarf Gimli was smaller than people like Aragorn or Legolas, but he was still a brave and fearsome fighter,” Sagan explained. “The Hobbits were smaller still, but without them, the battle for Middle Earth would have been lost. Our computer simulations show that, in such a scenario, Pluto would be none other than the heroic Frodo Baggins, with its moon Charon as the loyal Sam Gamgee.”
Even NASA weighed in on the controversy. “The continual downgrading of Pluto is part of an mean-spirited effort by some international astronomers to remove a proud American planet from the sky,” said Charles Bolden. “At the same time, we’re seeing attempts by other nations to land spacecraft on the Moon, which also flies the American flag. If this disturbing trend continues, we will soon live in a Solar System where the only remaining American planet is Earth.”