Monday, January 23, 2006

Dear diary: Today I named a planet

This interesting story starts way back in 1930, when a bright and studious but nonetheless ordinary little girl named Venetia Phair passed on her suggestion for the name of a planet just discovered beyond Neptune. Her suggestion eventually worked its way to the men charged with deciding on the name.

Today, that planet is still known by the name Venetia suggested and the Royal Astronomical Society accepted—Pluto. And, as 87-year-old Venetia reminds us today, the name is from Greek mythology, not Disney.

I came across this article yesterday while searching the Web for Pluto-related articles for my son, who I would swear said he was doing a planet report on Pluto. But it turns out he didn't say "Pluto." He has to do a report on Venus, and "Venus" is what he said yesterday.

Back to the drawing board...

—Mellow Monk

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