Thursday, July 31, 2008

Pluto – The Psychological Ramifications

Astronomy’s finest had gathered,
With faces as stony as granite,
And blithely declared
As a stunned press corps stared,
That Pluto was just a dwarf planet.

“The decision has not been reached lightly,
And most of the congress has voted.
The count should be trusted,
It’s all done and dusted,
And Pluto is henceforth demoted.

“It may have an elliptical orbit,
A spherical shape and large craters,
But it’s just far too small,
Lacking in wherewithal
To retain its old planet’ry status.”

Now I’m not really learnéd or clever,
No science-based qualifications,
But I wonder out loud
If this space-minded crowd
Has considered the ramifications?

If you go into work in the morning,
And you’re hauled in to speak the boss,
And he tells you that you’re
Back to sweeping the floor,
Would you not feel a little bit cross?

Now, multiply that by ten million,
And imagine how Pluto is feeling,
Depressed and deflated,
Convinced that there’s been double-dealing.

The students of planet psychology
Are very much learning the ropes.
There are no case-studies
By Freud or his buddies
To watch how an ex-planet copes.

We really should keep watch o’er Pluto,
To make sure it does nothing silly,
Like losing its gravity
Through wanton depravity
Or wandering off willy-nilly.

Who knows what a planet is thinking,
When its standing’s so cruelly reversed?
Can it live with the shame?
Might it take reckless aim,
And crash into Neptune headfirst?

Counselling should be considered
To counter the obvious shock,
And each IAU voter
Should be on the voter
To watch the poor lad round the clock.
Written on the occasion of Pluto'd demotion to a minor planet and published in Astronomy Ireland

No comments: