Perhaps the most news savvy post I’ve made yet! Here I commented on the IAU meeting to try to settle on the definition of a planet. Well I’ve got good news. Those blokes finally saw the light that opening the door to having thousands of planets in the solar system is, generally speaking, a bad idea.
Today they showed more common sense than they have in the last two years by striking down the initiative proposed last week that would, of all things, define the asteroid Ceres as a planet (see resolution 5a). The interesting feature is they resolved (apparently) not grandfather Pluto in. Without further clarification this means that we now, according to the IAU, we have eight planets in the solar system, not nine (see resolution 6a). Pluto would be the first trans-neptunian dwarf-planet. Or something. Actually the exact terminology got voted down too. So all this will get re-hashed next year. Hooray!
We’ll see if that classification sticks. Probably not. This whole thing is pretty futile. For a good discussion of that vist the blog of the unbiquitous Bad Astronomer here.