Second Update on Pluto Day

A reader writes in and says he would have welcomed the addition of Eris as a tenth planet.

I, too, who live in a reasonable terror of the Red Lectroids from Planet Ten, also would have welcomed them into the Solar Union, rather than dismiss them, trampling their civil rights, by exiling them to the status of merely dwellers on asteroids.

Haumea and Makemake could be planets eleven and twelve, a nice round number with all sort of nifty Babylonian astrological allusions. They possess satellites, and I say any warrior with a single knight can call himself a banneret, so too any heavenly body with a satellite can call itself a planet.

And what about Chaos and Varuna, and Ixion and Rhadamanthus! I have characters in books with those names, so they should be considered planets, not asteroids or KBO’s! That would mean we have sixteen planets in our solar system, and the larger solar systems, like Rigel and Omicron Eridani, will stop laughing at us behind our sun’s back! (Besides, calling any world a KBO will make some people think you are talking about the Korean Baseball Organization!)

Every science book I read, boy and man, predicted that we would have discovered MORE planets, not less, by the next century. Now we are in the next century, and we have found Eris beyond Pluto, and other bodies large enough to call planets, if only we had the nerve to call them so.

But no. No science fiction yarn I ever read — not one! —  ever said we would start decreasing the number of planets. It is like was are unlearning things, unprogressing, undeveloping, returning to the new barbarism. We now only have eight planets in the solar system!!

And it must be stopped!

Soon there will be only seven, then six … and where will we live once the number of planets reaches zero?