Friday, July 31, 2009

I'm Your Moon

The logical followup to my post about the Guitar Nebula is something with actual guitar in it. Thankfully I have a perfect astronomy song to kick off your weekend.

As I mentioned earlier in the week we are coming up on the three year anniversary of the IAU's decision to demote Pluto from planet to dwarf planet.

Shortly after that event Jonathan Coulton wrote this song. He explains it better than I can. So watch and listen to this clip from his DVD BEST. CONCERT. EVER.

I know of lots of love songs that mention our moon, but this is the only one that I know of that was written as one celestial body singing to another. It is really masterful and the most creative thing I know of to come as a result of the IAU's decision. You should enjoy this song no matter which side you are on of the Pluto dwarf planet debate.

Tip of the dome to Jeff P. who alerted me to this.


jlp105 said...

The real question is: Was there cake?
Guess we'll just have to buy the DVD to find out.

Laurel Kornfeld said...

Coulton's song is beautiful and right on target astronomically too. "They invented a reason" describes perfectly what four percent of the IAU did in 2006, most of whom are not planetary scientists. Their decision was immediately opposed by hundreds of professional astronomers led by Dr. Alan Stern, Principal Investigator of NASA's New Horizons mission to Pluto.

The IAU should take responsibility for the highly flawed definition adopted by only four percent of its members, most of whom are not planetary scientists, in 2006. However, the IAU should not be viewed as the sole authority on the definition of planet. Many planetary scientists do not belong to the IAU. Should they not have a say in this matter? Something does not become fact simply because a tiny group that calls itself an authority says so. It is significant that hundreds of planetary scientists led by New Horizons Principal Investgator Alan Stern immediately signed a formal petition opposing the IAU definition.

There are other venues through which a planet definition can be determined, such as last year's Great Planet Debate at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab. You can find the audio and video transcripts here: and more discussion of why Pluto is a planet and documentation of songs, poetry, etc. honoring Pluto at my Pluto Blog,

Scott Kardel said...

Welcome back Laurel. Remember you are welcome to visit and comment even when Pluto isn't the subject here.