Thursday, February 17, 2005

Pluto Turns 75

Perhaps that's a bit of a stretch--Pluto's in fact probably about 5ish billion years old like the rest of the planets--but it was on February 18, 1930 that Clyde Tombaugh discovered it. 75 years later--and how much has happened! We've sent probes to all of the planets--some of which have almost reached the heliopause--landed probes on Mars and Titan, put a man on the moon, and even designed stylish moon boots! (Not to mention five series of Star Trek.)

But for all of that, we still haven't decided what Pluto is--is it a planet? A "Kuiper belt body"? (I think the latter.) And it's not as if we have any close-up photo of Pluto. I, for one, think it's about time that this happens, so I would like to go on the record in support of NASA'S New Horizons project, a probe which would travel to Pluto and its moon, Charon, by 2015.

In the meantime, let's take a moment to commemorate 75 years of "MVEMJSUNP." After all, it did play a crucial role in that episode of Saved by the Bell...

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