February is a celestial month. All manner of Starship Trooper events happened in February. Our old pal Galileo was born in February 1564. Galileo gets credit for inventing the telescope and astronomy. This hobby resulted in him becoming one of the most famous subjects of the Inquisition. After pondering the night sky with his telescope, the G-Man came up with the heretical theory of Heliocentrism. The G-man ciphered that the Earth rotated around the Sun instead of the Earth being the center of the universe. This theory contradicted sixteenth century theology dropping Galileo into hot water with the Inquisition. Galileo was convicted of heresy for contending the Earth wasn’t the center of the universe. He spent the rest of his life under house arrest and his books were banned. At his trial, to avoid worse punishment, Galileo publicly denounced his theory that the Earth moved around the sun. Legend has it that he softly muttered “And yet it moves” at the end of his confession to the Inquisition.
Clyde Tombaugh, the discoverer of America’s favorite planet Pluto, was born in February 1906. Following in Galileo’s footsteps, Clyde as an Illinois farm boy used a homemade telescope to study the night skies. Clyde got a gig working at the Lowell Observatory where he discovered Pluto on Feb. 18, 1930. Like Ernest Hemingway’s short story title character, Francis Macomber, Pluto had a short happy life as a planet. Macomber was killed after being shot by his wife on safari. Pluto was killed as a planet in 2006 by Professor Mike Brown of Cal Tech who convinced the Astronomical Union that Pluto was too small to be a plan
Pluto was demoted to the ranks of dwarf planet. Fans of Pluto were upset about America’s planet being kicked downstairs to dwarf planet status. The Politically Correct Astronomical police pointed out that calling Pluto a dwarf planet was offensive to small planets. They prefer Pluto to be referred to as a Midget planet or better yet, a Little People Planet. The Astronomical Union is still working on the correct title to assign to Pluto in light of these objections.
Pluto is not going down without a fight. Despite its demotion, Pluto is more popular than ever. Like Bill Clinton in the 1992 New Hampshire presidential primary, Pluto is the Come Back Kid. NASA’s space probe New Horizon visited Pluto recently and sent back Pluto selfies that boggle the mind. Pluto has giant floating mountains on its surface. Pluto’s skin is a layer of frozen nitrogen featuring ice volcanoes spewing out frozen water. Frozen water being lighter than frozen nitrogen results in giant icebergs even bigger than the one that sank the Titanic and killed Jack. NASA says the pictures show floating mountains that are bigger than the Rocky Mountains being 25 miles long and 3 miles high. Imagine floating mountains half the size of Mount Everest stretching from Fayetteville to Raeford. That is Pluto’s Sputnik Planum ice field. As Larry David would say, “That’s pretty, pretty cool.”
New Horizon found four of Pluto’s moons which are even weirder than Pluto itself. The names for Pluto’s newly discovered moons are Stix, Nix, Keberos and Hydra. Those names sound like something Sarah Palin would name her kids. I think that Huey, Dewey, Louie and Moe would have been better names but no one asked me.
Bill Clinton came back from the Gennifer Flowers’ scandal to become President. Pluto has come back from being demoted to dwarf status to become the solar system’s most popular planet.
President Pluto will make America great again by ridding us off our current presidential candidates. Pluto is three billion miles from Earth. That’s a long, lonesome road. Light takes 4.6 hours to go from Pluto to Earth. It takes from 9 to 16 months to send a picture back from Pluto. The New Horizon space craft took over 9 years to get from Earth to Pluto. If all the Presidential candidates were sent to Pluto for a debate they would never come back. Say good bye to Hillary, Bernie, The Donald, Marco, Ted, Chris, Jeb!, Carly and Kasich.
Pluto for President. Tis a consummation devoutly to be wished. Pluto wasn’t born in America, but neither was Ted Cruz. If Pluto was good enough to be Mickey’s Mouse’s dog, it’s good enough to be President. Pluto may not be a planet and yet it moves.