Saturday, July 18, 2015

I Heart Pluto

At breakfast one morning this week, my husband announced, "You know, if you take a few blankets with you, Pluto wouldn't be a bad place to retire.  It would be nice and quiet.”
Foreshadowing of our potential retirement on Pluto?
I get cold in the summer here on Earth, just because we have the ceiling fan on.  I won’t be turning on the ceiling fans if I live on Pluto,  but I think we can't retire there anyway because we can't agree on how to pronounce the name of Pluto’s neighborhood,  the Kuiper Belt.  

The only reason I had ever heard of the Kuiper Belt is from doing crossword puzzles.   I don't know why, but I pronounce it “kiper” with a long i. (This is not to be confused with ‘kipper.’  A Kipper Belt would be something else entirely, but given my husband’s  love of herring snacks, he might really like to live near a kipper belt.)

My husband says it is pronounced “Cooper.” As in Bradley Cooper – yeah, I like that thought.

Brits, as evidenced by my listening to the BBC at 5:30 AM this morning, say “Coy-per.” But the astronomers they interviewed seem to agree with my pronunciation, a long I.

It’s amazing how sentimental people can get about a bare rock out in space. When its status was demoted to dwarf planet, non-scientists like me were incensed.  We were insulted on Pluto’s behalf. 

Now we have proof that Pluto is romantic. It should appear on Valentine's Day cards because it has a giant heart on it, people!   To see a photo (as if you haven’t seen one already) go to NASA, because they own the photos.   NASA should boost its budget by selling that image to Hallmark.

At dinner last night, I turned to Younger Daughter and said,  "You know, to me, Pluto will always be a planet." She clasped her hands and sighed in agreement.  My son rolled his eyes. 

Fellow Earthlings, what do you think about Pluto?  Do you prefer to think about Bradley Cooper?  How do you pronounce "Kuiper Belt"?  


The Crislers said...

The first and third Pluto memes on this post made me lol:

As for the Kuiper Belt: I *used* to pronounce it "Kwee-purr." I have no idea why. Now I think I'll just never say it aloud again for fear of mispronunciation.

Anonymous said...

I prefer to ponder Bradley Cooper. I hear it's good to be Bradley Cooper these days.

Angie said...

I've never pronounced Kuiper because this is the first I've heard of it. And I don't like to be cold either. Bradley Cooper is okay.

Karen (formerly kcinnova) said...

I'm usually too hot, so Pluto (or even a ceiling fan!) is attractive to me... so is Bradley Cooper. And to venture a guess, would it be wrong to say "keeper"?

smalltownme said...

I've never even tried to pronounce Kuiper. But I ♥ Pluto too.

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

I'd have guessed "koi-per." And yes, always a planet to me.

Cassi said...

For some reason, I'm late seeing this post. But I say "Kuiper" many times a semester (and your pronunciation is correct --long i), since Geology of the Solar System is my favorite class to teach.

There are three requirements for a body to be a planet: 1) It must orbit a star. 2) It must be large enough to naturally become spherical through gravitational attraction to its center of mass. 3) It must have cleared its orbit.

Pluto is one member of the Kuiper Belt, meaning it hasn't cleared it's orbit --there are many objects orbiting the Sun at that distance. All of those bodies are now called Kuiper Belt Objects, and Pluto is the largest of them.

This is not disrespecting Pluto --it's simply putting it into the correct category. We just didn't have enough information previously to get it categorized correctly. To me, this is important --science is about categorizing and recognizing patters.

While I'm glad we now have decent photographs of Pluto, I find it hard to get too excited about its geology. It's an icy body, like many others, and not much has happened to it for billions of years.

I so find Pluto more interesting than Bradley Cooper, however. Also, I recognize that I might be in the minority there :-)

slow panic said...

What about retirement on Pluto WITH Bradley Cooper? Maybe that's to much time. Maybe just a vacation. On Pluto. With Bradley.

Because what's not to love about Pluto and Bradley?

slow panic said...
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