[meteorite-list] 2003 UB313 Reignites a Planet-Sized Debate

From: Sterling K. Webb <sterling_k_webb_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Tue Feb 7 23:12:55 2006
Message-ID: <006a01c62c65$eb601720$bf56e146_at_ATARIENGINE>

Hola, Doug!

    Don't let those Vesteans put one over on you!
Everyone knows that Ceres is the real power in the
Asteroid Confederacy! Why, what's Vesta got, except
a 13 kilometer deep crater that covers a fifth of the
place like an immense sunken Badlands? Nothing,
that's what! Dry, barren rock. Why, they have to
import water, even though Vesteans are famous for
their aversion to bathing... Conservation they call it.

    Now, Ceres is a proper world, rich in CHON, that's
Carbon Hydrogen Oxygen Nitrogen compounds to you.
The Stuff of Life! All you need to get along, not a basalt
wasteland like Vesta.
    Even back in the Dark Ages, centuries ago (~ year 2000),
they knew what a wonderful place Ceres was. This piece
of history is from an early proposal to come and look us
over, but they took away the money for it, so they didn't
come. Well, it WAS the Dark Ages, you know. Dumb...


    We always joke that we're the Solar System's biggest
carbonaceous chondrite, you know... The folks that were
going to come and look were from somewhere called the
United States. It was a pretty big place in its day, about
75% the size of Ceres. Wonder what ever happened to it?

    Anyway, it's funny you were talking about food in your
message, because it arrived at my terminal just as I was
putting dinner together. All the lettuce, tomatoes, onions,
the flour in the flat bread, were grown in the black crumbly
soil we manufacture here on Ceres. Nothing like it for
vegetables. On Vesta, they have to use hydroponics.
I guess the 100-pound low-gee chickens are the same,
though... Have you ever actually EATEN Vestan food?

    I didn't think so...

    As far as the question of seeing Ceres from the
surface of the Earth with the naked eye, well, at least
back when you could see anything through the atmosphere
of the Earth, I quote from this very old copy of the Wiki
Pedia which I bought at the local Antiquities Mart on the
assurance that it had actually been burnt to disc on
the Old Home World itself, in the earliest days of the
Space Age:

    "At certain points in its orbit, Ceres can reach a
magnitude of 7.0. This is generally regarded as being
just barely too dim to be seen with the naked eye, but
under exceptional viewing conditions a very sharp-sighted
person may be able to see the asteroid with the naked eye.
The only other asteroid that can be seen with the naked
eye is 4 Vesta."

    A lot of people don't believe me when I tell them that
once you could see the sky through the atmosphere of
the Earth, especially the ones that have been there, but
it's true that you used to able to. Really.

Sterling K. Webb
----- Original Message -----
From: <MexicoDoug_at_aol.com>
To: <sterling_k_webb_at_sbcglobal.net>; <baalke@zagami.jpl.nasa.gov>;
Sent: Tuesday, February 07, 2006 4:27 PM
Subject: Re: [meteorite-list] 2003 UB313 Reignites a Planet-Sized Debate

> Sterling W. wrote:
> << At this point it is worth noting that the "major" minor planets
> (Ceres, Vesta, etc.) and the planet Uranus are naked eye
> objects. ..planet can be made of chopped liver...it can be a pancake ...>>
> Hola Sterling, List,
> All of this talk about planets is making me hungry. I am sure some
> rapidly
> rotating stars out there would be tasty pancakes too, and next time
> Halley's
> snow-cone comes by I think I'll have a scoop (please hold the aerogel).
> Now,
> who has actually seen Ceres with their buff eye? Please tell me, names
> dates,
> facts...especially if they are alive, I want to meet this Cererian
> eagle-eye,
> and maybe see if a pinch of Kryptonite to taste in their diet ranks with
> sprouts.
> Now, wasn't Ceres actually a distinctly Sicilian AND Neopolitan flavor
> when
> it was first named? So I guess any Piazzi planet couldn't be a real
> planet,
> and only if it were made of green cheese, could it even be a moon? I'd
> settle
> for a theoretically stringy basil mozzarella fabric with oregano, and
> munch at
> it comfortably on Vesta, the national capital of the Asteroid
> confederation,
> where lots more wanderers are certainly visible than from the supposedly
> named
> third rock. Yes, the visible from Earth criterion is precisely as foolish
> as
> a geocentric theory for the Universe, in my opinion...
> Saludos, Doug
Received on Tue 07 Feb 2006 11:12:47 PM PST

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