We at LSS have recently purchased a new telescope, which we keep in the summerhouse next to the bay tree and the forsythia. It’s such an important contribution to human learning (when we can get it to work) that we have re-named the summerhouse Observatory Earthstation One (OE-1). But astronomy is very difficult to do! There’s loads of things like right ascension, eccentricity, aphelion, ascending node and argument of perihelion that are so tricky it would take someone intelligent to understand them.
Until that is you think of the solar system as a sort of giant football league. In English terms the eight major planets are like the Premiership. In which case Jupiter is like Liverpool, Saturn is like Manchester City, and so on. Earth is mid table, like Spurs or Arsenal. We are sure you can do the same for your own country. Poor old Pluto were admitted in 1930, but were disastrously relegated in 2006, being put in the same league as the minor planets like Ceres and Eris.
It can’t be much fun being a supporter of a minor planet. Cold, empty stadiums. Long distances to travel to see results like Sedna 2 Makemake 1, only of interest to the diehards. No mentions on Sports radio or the Sky at Night. And now worse is to come.
According to scientists Scott Sheppard and Chad Trujillo, new planet called Planet X is on the point of discovery. It’s only going to take research with the new Vera C Rubin telescope to prove the existence of a candidate for the premier league which may be two to fifteen times the size of Earth. If true, it will be difficult to get to away matches, as it could orbit between 250-1500 astronomical units, Stuart Clark has the full story in the Guardian.*
And as for Pluto? Well not even the genius of a Sam Allardyce could have kept them up. They remind us of one of those teams who seemed to be established in the top flight for a few seasons, even got into Europe, but are now orbiting in the lower leagues with small crowds, peeling paint on the terraces, and the fading pictures of former stars as a constellation of memories on the clubhouse wall. To paraphrase the old Terry Jacks song
We had joy, we had fun, we had seasons in the sun
But the joy that we had was tempered by the knowledge of our impending relegation
To the Vanarama National League
#astronomy #football #premier league #planetx