Bad Astronomy

Pluto at the top of the key

Astronomer Mike Brown is a friend of mine. He’s a pretty nice guy, and while he’s not exactly sad that he was instrumental in getting Pluto demoted from its planethood status – his Twitter handle is @PlutoKiller, after all – I don’t think he deserves all the slings and arrows he’s received.

ronartest_gazooAnd he certainly doesn’t deserve an elbow to the nose, as LA Laker Ron Artest recently said. I can understand Mr. Artest’s lament at some level, but physical punishment will only redouble Mike’s efforts, and who knows what will happen then! We might lose Neptune.

So if I had to think of suitable punishments, they’d be

1) a pie to the face,

2) a Benny Hill-style rapid-repeat slap on the top of the head,

3) a dressing down by Goofy, or just possibly

4) more telescope time.

I don’t think he’d disagree with any of these, with the exception of getting a pie to the face before more time on a telescope. Whipped cream is hard to get off a 10-meter mirror.

Tip o’ the nose guard to Jerome Clemente. Image credit: Ball Don’t Lie.