Earthlings Or Dumplings?

Earthlings Or Dumplings? MP3

C# / D / E / Eb


What makes us think,
We're the only intelligent,
Form of life?
We don't even know,
How many planets,
Are in the same solar system,
That I am.

Without even a blink,
We act all arrogant,
Handing out strife,
Or, a deadly blow,
To our occupants,
Are you in the solar system,
That I am?

Maybe I'd feel better,
If I took a vacation on 2003 UB313,
One of their years,
Is equal to more than 500 of ours,
Sounds good to me!

Repeat First Verse

Look out for icy dwarves,
It can rattle one's nerves,
Can't even figure it's name,
What a shame,
Yet, Man is the only intelligent being?
Sounds illogical... know what I mean?

At the Edge of Solar System, a 10th Planet May Lurk
By Guy Gugliotta, Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, February 2, 2006; Page A03

So what, exactly, is a planet? Astronomers have been deadlocked 
over this for years, but a decision may finally be forthcoming, because 
a thing they discovered last year in the solar system's outer reaches has 
turned out to be bigger than Pluto.

So if Pluto hangs on to its status -- by no means a slam-dunk -- then 
the fetchingly named 2003 UB313, which is about 30 percent fatter, 
probably would have to be a planet, too. The 10th.

So what, exactly, is a planet? Astronomers have been deadlocked over 
this for years, but a decision may finally be forthcoming, because a thing 
they discovered last year in the solar system's outer reaches has turned 
out to be bigger than Pluto.
But if Pluto gets demoted, the solar system will have just eight. Either 
way, textbooks that refer to nine planets are doomed to obsolescence.

"It's only fair," said astronomer Frank Bertoldi of Germany's University 
of Bonn. "It's my view that Pluto for historical reasons should remain a 
planet -- otherwise school kids will be confused. Any object that's bigger 
than Pluto should also be a planet."

Bertoldi, reporting today in the journal Nature, led a research team that 
measured surface temperatures of 2003 UB313 to confirm that this "ice 
dwarf," more than 9 billion miles from the sun at its farthest point, is 
about 1,800 miles in diameter, whereas Pluto's diameter is about 1,380 miles.

Neither one is "big." Earth's moon is 2,160 miles across.

Astronomers suspected that 2003 UB313 was at least as big as Pluto 
and probably bigger when its discoverers measured its brightness last 
summer. Any object that far away could not be as bright as it was 
and still be smaller than Pluto.

"But they didn't know how big it was, or whether it could have been 
as big as Mercury," said Carnegie Institute of Washington astronomer 
Scott S. Sheppard, author of an article accompanying the Nature paper.

To pin down 2003 UB313's size, astronomers needed to know 
not only its brightness but also its reflectivity -- how much of the 
sunlight illuminating the distant body was bouncing off its surface.

"A small body with high reflectivity can be as bright as a large body 
with low reflectivity," Sheppard said. Brightness in the visible spectrum 
is a function of both the reflectivity of the body and its size, expressed 
as the area illuminated by the sun.

To determine reflectivity, Bertoldi's team used a radio telescope in the 
mountains of southern Spain to examine 2003 UB313 in thermal 
wavelengths close to infrared and not visible to the naked eye. 
There its "heat signature" could be measured and subtracted from the 
total sunlight that reached it. The difference was the reflectivity.

"We took two measurements and got a consistent solution," Bertoldi 
said in a telephone interview. "We've done this many times over the 
years, and it's a very secure way of measuring the size of an object" 
when the object is either too small or too far away to be analyzed 
easily by a traditional optical telescope.

A team of researchers led by the California Institute of Technology's 
Michael E. Brown reported the discovery of 2003 UB313 last summer. 
It was the most distant object ever seen in the solar system, a chill 
sphere cloaked in water and methane ice, and circling the sun in a 
highly eccentric orbit 44 degrees off the plane where most of the 
planets dwell.

Brown nicknamed the new discovery "Lila," after his baby daughter, 
but permanent naming awaits a decision by the International 
Astronomical Union, which is also trying to decide how to define a 

This, it appears, is heavy going. One school agrees with Bertoldi 
that the Pluto tradition should be upheld, but another suggests that 
Pluto, 2003 UB313 and other denizens of the Kuiper Belt beyond 
Neptune are not planets but a new class of smaller objects -- ice 
dwarves unlike either the terrestrial planets of the inner solar system, 
among them Earth, or the outer "gas giants" such as Jupiter and 
Neptune. There is no clear leader in the debate.

"Until they decide whether it's a planet or not, we don't know how 
to name it," Brown said in a telephone interview. "This could go on 
for years."


So-called 10th planet larger than Pluto, study finds
The Associated Press 
Posted February 2, 2006 
Scientists say they have confirmed that a so-called 10th planet 
discovered last year is bigger than Pluto, but that likely won't 
quell the debate over what makes a planet.

Astronomers who found he icy, rocky body -- informally called 
2003 UB313 -- reported only a rough estimate of its size based 
on its brightness.

But another group of researchers has come up with what is believed 
to be the first calculation of UB313's diameter.

By measuring how much heat it radiates, German scientists led by 
Frank Bertoldi of the University of Bonn estimated that UB313 was 
about 1,864 miles across. That makes it larger than Pluto, which has 
a diameter of about 1,429 miles.

"It is now increasingly hard to justify calling Pluto a planet if UB313 
is not also given this status," Bertoldi said in a statement.

Details were published in today's issue of the journal Nature.

Some astronomers have debated over what is a planet and whether 
Pluto should keep its status. The difficulty is there is no official definition 
and some argue that setting standards like size limits opens the door too wide.

Michael Brown, the astronomer at the California Institute of Technology 
who discovered UB313 and announced it last July, said the Germans' 
measurement seemed plausible. He said his team is using the Hubble Space
 Telescope to directly figure out its size.

Brown previously reported that UB313 was thought to be larger than 
Pluto and estimated that it was most likely between 1,398 miles and 2,175 
miles in diameter.

If it is determined to be the 10th planet, it would be the farthest-known 
body in the solar system.

Human Induced Climate Change Experiment

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