Un-physics 2

Last night’s ‘The Only Way Is Essex’ (or TOWIE, as some would abbreviate) provided a whopper to restart my Un-physics posts!

“Did you know…the sun and the moon are, like, two different planets?”

I’m afraid I don’t follow the series closely enough to tell you which ‘character’ said this, though I’m sure someone will be able to tell me (I know what she looks like). I’m just glad I wasn’t near a wall; either the wall or my head would have been seriously damaged by me hitting my head against it repeatedly.

There are some things I can forgive. Pluto used to be a planet, Sedna (by the same token) isn’t really a planet either, according to scientists, but at least the distinction between a small rock and a big rock is more of a grey area (pun intended).

Perhaps I could even forgive calling the moon a planet.

But the sun? I’m pretty sure it’s a star. A swirling ball of gas. Planets can’t be described in that way! Well, except for Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune…but…but…that’s entirely different…they’re not stars!

plan·et (noun): A celestial body moving in an elliptical orbit around a star.

The star is our sun, therefore cannot also be a planet orbiting itself. The moon technically orbits the earth, but the earth-moon system orbits the sun, so this is open to debate. There are no nuclear reactions going on inside the gas giants either…not that I’m aware of, anyway. The sun and the moon are very different ‘planets’ indeed!

About Jamie Nemeth

Physicist, fiddler/violinist and radio presenter, who dabbles in blogs and graphic design...

Posted on November 10, 2011, in Physics. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. I saw this too. Lost the will to live entirely. She thought they used to be the same thing!

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