Pluto really does seem to have captured people’s imagination. With the announcement that the (dwarf) planet is larger than we thought, a neighbour was asking me how one measured its size.
This got me looking up some values in ‘Pluto Is Larger Than Thought, Has Ice Cap, NASA Probe Reveals’, from space.com.
The new measurement of Pluto is 1,473 miles (2,370 kilometers) across
The previous estimate from Earth was 1,430 miles (2,301 km).
This makes Pluto bigger than Eris 1,445 miles (2,326 km) in diameter.
But I wondered — Eris was also measured from Earth, so could the value for Eris also be an underestimate? What’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.
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Today I also read this article: Where can humanity turn for uplift? To Pluto, by Charles Krauthammer.
I do not disagree with the subtitle: However wretched we are, the human race does, on occasion, manage to soar. But the title itself, most likely dreamed up by a editor, has turned mythology on its head. Turning for uplift to the King of the Underworld? Especially since
Places on Pluto are Being Named for Your Darkest Imaginings
Maybe we are all, in the 18th and 19th century sense of the word, becoming “Gothic”.