- “My Very Eager Mother Just Sewed Us New Pajamas”
- “Most Valuable Earth Must Jump Straight Up North Pole”
- “My Very Educated Mother Just Showed Us Nine Planets”
- “My Very Easy Method Just Speeds Up Naming Planets”
- “My Very, Eccentric Mother Just Showed Us Nine Planets”
The above are some of the mnemonics by which western school kids memorised the names of the nine planets of the Solar system Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto.How did we Indian kids mug up the list? I’am trying to remember whatever technique we used. Can someone share the methods they used back in those days to remember the list of Planets?
Well it is time to revise those mnemonics since there are now only Eight planets!
The International Astronomers Union(IAU) in a vote on 24th August 2006 decided to demote Pluto from the status of a planet because it simply doesn’t make the cut according to the new standards or as some allege as per the new standards deliberately drawn up so that Pluto doesn’t make the cut. There is already a rising rebellion against this controversial decision which was taken by just 424 or 5% of the estimated 10,000 strong professional astronomers fraternity worldwide according to one of the opponents of this move Alan Stern, the leader of NASA’s New Horizons mission to Pluto.
In the meanwhile Pluto seems to be getting a misty eyed farewell from across the world. It is turning up everywhere from news bulletins to talk shows to sports commentary and it is also topping the search engine lists for the most searched terms in the past couple of days.
Here is one more guy getting a similar sendoff after 50 years of standing on a busy public square named after himself.
I have been following both stories with great interest. I’am a big fan of both Space sciences and Ancient history and it has been a great week where both occupied the front pages at the same time.
Last year i had entered my name in the list of nearly 430,000 names from all over the Earth that will be carried by New Horizons on its journey to Pluto. The probe was launched on January 19, 2006 from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. It is slated to arrive at Pluto(the dwarf planet now) in around 2015. It is also the same year that the CEV Orion is supposed to make its first journey to the International Space Station and then just 5 years later put man (and some babes for the first time :)) back on the Moon again.
Right now the New Horizons probe is nearing Jupiter’s orbit while many astronomers back on Earth draw the battlelines to restore Pluto’s honour.