Posted to the UseNet Newsgroup "alt.astronomy"
Earth's Moon is *not* like any natural satellite anywhere in our
Many people know that Isaac Asimov, the world-class sci-fi
writer, also wrote a lot of books and articles that were non-
fiction. In one of his many articles about the Moon, he showed
himself to be avid about changing the Moon's status from mere
"satellite" to "major planet". Asimov convinced me that our
Moon is far, far more than just a satellite of Earth. So i've
posted several articles about all this. And yes, you have rightly
important reasons why our Earth/Moon system can be thought
of as a "binary-planet" or a "double-planet" system. And the
science of astronomy, especially the International Astronomical
Union (IAU), is destined to someday "officially" realize this and
reinstate Selene's classification as a true major planet in its
own right. (Yes, i said "reinstate", because as you may know,
for hundreds, perhaps thousands of years, the ancients thought
of the Moon as one of several PLANETS that wandered around
the skies of the Earth.)
To begin, let there be no doubt in your mind. The IAU, that
governing body of global astronomy, now recognizes that our
Solar System is made up of eight "major" planets. In order of
their increasing distance from the Sun, these are...
Pluto, as you may know, was reclassified as a "dwarf" planet,
a minor planet much more consistent with the many other
minor objects that orbit the Sun beyond the orbit of Neptune.
There has also been lots of talk and study about other possible
planets. At one time there was planet "Vulcan", which was
believed to circle the Sun *inside* the orbit of Mercury...
Also, there is "Planet X" that all kinds of things have been written
about. Long before 1930, the year when dwarf planet Pluto was
discovered by American astronomer Clyde Tombaugh (and at first
believed to be a huge gas giant nearly the same size as Neptune),
scientists were out searching for "Planet X". Shortly after Pluto
was found, astronomers began to feel that this new planet was
not able to "fill the bill". So they decided to continue their quest
to find Planet X. I'll leave the rest about the so far mythical and
fascinating Planet X to you Gentle Readers to search for and to
What we're talking about here is a major planet, and it's right here
"in our own back yard". It's not waaay closer to the Sun like the
mythical planet Vulcan, nor is it waaay out past Neptune and Pluto
like Planet X. The major planet we're talking about right here and
now is Earth's so-called "natural satellite", the one... the only...
The Planet Moon
So i'm going to briefly list all the reasons for us to consider why
our Moon is a full-fledged major planet in its own right. Why is
this important? It's just a classification thing really, like finding
out long ago that the "wanderers" in the sky, out among the stars
weren't actually light-emitting stars themselves, but were much
closer *reflectors* of light. It's like finding out that some of the
cloud-like "nebulae" in the sky were not actually clouds of gas and
dust, but indeed were full-fledged "galaxies" in their own right, far
outside our own Milky Way galaxy. You wouldn't want to call a
"donkey" an "elephant" when you have very strong evidence that
it's really a donkey, would you? (Some of the more ultrahyper-
conservative donkeys notwithstanding, of course. <g>)
I sincerely hope you enjoy this series and Isaac Asimov's hard
and undeniable evidence that the Moon is actually a full-fledged
major planet in its own right! And i like to call the Moon...
_ Planet Selene _
happy days and...
starry starry nights!
P.S. Thank YOU for reading!
P.P.S. Some secret sites (shh)...