Derby and District Astronomical Society

The Journal of the Derby and District Astronomical Society
January - April 2006

Letters to the Editor

Dear Ed,

First of all I would like to congratulate Anthony, our new editor, on the first issue of the newly resurrected Aries. It is excellent and makes up for the long wait, I am sure that he must have put in a great deal of time and effort and deserves great praise. I am however a little concerned that there was no star chart. I know that maybe most members have a good knowledge of the night sky but I do feel that as an astronomical society then we should have a sky chart in our publication, if only to aid any newcomers. I know that Mike puts sky notes on the website but as was stated previously not everyone has access to the internet. If the fact that Aries covers 3 months is a problem then maybe just a chart for the middle month?

Regarding the discovery of a 10th planet (2003 UB313), I feel that although this once and for all confirms the fact that Pluto is nothing more than a Kuiper Belt Object (KBO), it would be harsh to relegate it to just one of many thousands of KBOs (it is currently the second largest), after all historically Pluto has been known as a planet for 75 years. I feel that maybe it is time to state that all objects discovered in our solar system that are of a greater size than Pluto are planets and those of a lesser size are not (this may not be particularly scientific but somehow a definition needs to be made and size seems as good a way as any other). There is no reason that Pluto cannot be known as the 9th planet and a KBO, after all we break down the other planets in the solar system to gas giants & terrestrial planets.

I am sure that you all have an opinion on this and I would like to hear them as every time I consider this subject I still seem to have doubts as to the best outcome!

Dave Selfe

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