UnNews:Experts: Earth No Longer a Planet

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18 August 2006

New Solar System

The new solar system according to the IAU.

NEW YORK, New York -- Following days of heated debate, the International Astronomical Union has approved a controversial new definition of "planet" which excludes Earth. According to the new IAU ruling, a planet is now "any celestial body named after a character from Greek or Roman mythology." Since "earth" is derived from the Swedish word for pencil, it was not accepted in the new list.

Three new planets are being added, however. Pluto's moon Ariel Sharon, the acclaimed rock band Styx, and Xena the Warrior Princess, which was formerly known by the astronomical designation UB40. Additionally, Uranus is now counted as two planets since award-winning astronomer Anna Kournikova determined that the planet actually consists of two symmetrical halves or "cheeks," bringing the total number of planets in the Solar System to twelve.

Reactions to the news were diverse and strong emotions were expressed on all sides of the issue.

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"It's about damn time we had some new planets to write about" exclaimed famed Science Fiction author Isaac Asimov, who died in 1992. "I got so tired of writing about Neptune that I nearly changed careers to start writing technical manuals for HP."

Others were not so enthusiastic. That Earth was de-listed as a planet evoked some strong emotions on Capitol Hill.

According to Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama, legislation is already being drafted by the newly-formed Senate Sub-Committee for Keeping Earth a Planet. Similar legislation was proposed in the House to add the phrase "And earth is a planet" to the end of the Pledge of Allegiance. Representative John Murtha was seen handing out "Earth is a planet, Damnit!" bumper stickers.

Fox News Channel commentator John Gibson was quick to denounce the program on his nightly show.

"This is an egregious attack on our country and our values" complained Gibson. "I am writing a new book, The War on Planet Earth, to expose this terrorist plot to in essence destroy the planet."

Protests and civil unrest are expected in various locations all around the plan--world. An emergency session of the UN Security Council has been called to address the situation, and President Jeb Bartlett is expected to make a televised statement this evening.

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