19 January 2006

Poorly chosen words

Glad to see the launch off successfully, and look forward to the pictures nearly a decade hence.

But this phrase strikes me as just plain wrong, "it will take 9 1/2 years to reach Pluto and the frozen, sunless reaches of the solar system."

Every object in the solar system is by definition still under the influence and within sight of the sun. It may be a tiny spec compared to the impressive globe locally, but Pluto should not be described as sunless. (and lest we forget, Pluto's definitional status is still somewhat ambiguous)


Icepick said...

Pluto is a planet. I can't believe there's even arguement about that. "Planet" is not a term that has a clear definition, unlike "star". Given that Pluto was originally identified and called a planet for several decades, there's no reason to stop now unless someone comes up with a good definition of planet.

TestSubjectXP said...

Um, Pluto's probably in sight of other suns, too...?

Honestly, I think they only meant it doesn't look very bright on Pluto.