Sunday, 15 July 2018

image for Astronomers discriminate against trans-Neptunian objects
Astronomers: the peeping toms of the sky, although there are few tits in space

For years, astronomers have shown a preference for studying the eight main planets of the solar system, disregarding "almost everything beyond Uranus" as famous astronomer Edwin Hubble once said.

Yet now, a new movement is aiming to overcome these deep divides, and give trans-Neptunian objects the attention they deserve.

Trans-Neptunian astronomer Sam Gusset was thrilled. "Us fans of TNOs have been underfunded for years. Ever since the downgrading of Pluto, I've been aware of a deliberate discrimination against our kind. It's crazy really, there is far more space beyond Neptune than within its orbit. And it's not just Pluto, there's all sorts of exciting objects, like some other dwarf planets, and the Oort cloud."

The UK's Astronomer Royal Geoff Binoculars said that there were good reasons for ignoring TNOs. "They're too bloody far away," he moaned. "It's not discrimination, but we have to focus on what's near to us. It's like saying I'm being racist because my wife isn't a pygmy. Although she does suffer from dwarfism."

Broadcaster and astronomer Brian Penis was more sympathetic. "We do need to talk more about Trans-Neptunian objects, but you have to realise that they make a lot of old people uncomfortable. Some of them can remember the days before we discovered Pluto, and it scared the shit out of them. A lot of older astronomers would like to return to those days when Neptune was the final planet - which is why Pluto got downgraded actually."

"I'd like to make a TV series on the subject. Have you got any money?"

The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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