Saturday, August 29, 2009

New definitions from the International Astronomy Union

Last month, the IAU got together for their first meeting since the redefinition of Pluto that some of us predicted: And sure enough, there are more definitions.

The nations of the world now only include the G8- Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, United Kingdom, and United States. All other countries have been redesignated as ‘dwarf nations’ to reduce the burden of memorization on school children.

Although it was an international astronomy meeting, the USA was formally reduced to five states: Hawaii, California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. Those former states and territories whose observatories do not host at least one telescope with a 3 meter primary mirror have been relegated to the amateur anonymous land category. The union felt very strongly that reducing the trauma caused by the memorization of state capitals justified this change.

And finally, the periodic table of the elements has been redefined. Instead of 112 elements stretching from hydrogen to copernicium, astronomers will recognize only hydrogen and helium, relegating everything else to the category of ‘metals’, irrespective of the behavior of the electron shell.


Stephen said...

Very funny.

Unknown said...


thats hilarious! after thinking in terms of 'billions and billions' all day, we astronomers prefer to simplify things close to home as much as possible ;)