Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Pluto the Previous Planet

One of the outputs from dotAstronomy this year was the below music video by Amanda Bauer (@astropixie). Pluto the Previous Planet

Amanda describes where she got the idea for this song in her blog post about it: Pluto, the Previous Planet: A Song.  She's very clear, that she saw this song as a bit of fun, and has no interest in changing the IAU definition of what a planet is. I got involved as one of the "Trans Neptunian Objectors" (looking a bit lost in the chorus line), and expressed my concern over the interpretation of the second to last verse by refusing to "boo" (I really don't care if Pluto is defined as a planet or not). :)

 Actually I think Amanda and Carolina did a very nice job anyway, making a website: "Pluto the Previous Planet" to go along with the video. It gives Pluto a voice (summary - we don't need to worry, he's happy enough as a dwarf planet) and includes some educational material about the redefinition. A well deserved Hack Day Best Artistic Project Prize!

I have yet to meet an actual astronomer who cares about this issue, but obviously some people do. The comments to Amanda's blog post have gotten a little heated and Stuart Lowe has already talked about that in his blog post: Plurality of Planets. Universe Today covered the story: "New Hit Single: “Pluto the Previous Planet”, and to date it's had just over 4000 views. Hmmm.

Perhaps Markus (the director) was right, and we should have spent a bit more time practicing! All I can say is I can't wait to get the tune out of my head. I've been humming it all week:

Pluto the previous planet, had a very shiny nose....... 

no wait that's not right..... aargh!

Just noticed that one of the Pencasts was done by Amanda on the Pluto song. Check it out:

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(Link to it on the Livescribe website)

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