The Star of the King of the Dead
Planets, once thought to form gradually out of coalescing dust and gas, are now viewed as the survivors of a violent process of collision and accretion, the winners in a Darwinian competition to build up enough gravity to control one's own orbit."--From Newsweek's article on the demotion of Pluto to dwarf status.
Aren't we all just trying to build up enough gravity to control our respective orbits?
There are some days when I suspect that a group of people are meeting somewhere plotting my fate. I imagine I will receive a press release telling me that I have been recategorized, demoted, dwarfed. My own description of myself is that I am not as tall as I feel I ought to be (and, like many small animals, not as large as I often believe myself to be) and not as grown up as my age would suggest, so why wouldn't a group of experts determine that after having weighed all the evidence, I don't quite make the cut?
Of course, this begs the question "what are they categorizing? How will you be diminished?
I have absolutely no idea. No one actually tells you they are deciding on your fate until after a decision has been made. And one wonders if it really matters how one is classified. I mean, does Pluto care if the citizens of Earth consider it to be a full-fledged planet? Probably not. Just so long as one has enough gravity to control one's own orbit (or share orbital control with a partner, as it appears Pluto does with Charon*) everything else is peripheral.
*Is anyone else irritated that Pluto's moon and orbital partner is not named Proserpine? She was Pluto's bride and co-ruler of the Underworld, shouldn't her name be up there as well?
P.S. ENTER THE CONTEST! YOU MAY WIN SOMETHING!