Haumea (the dwarf planet) gets some attention

Thursday, May 07, 2009

...from Wikipedia. It's the featured article today for Wikipedia:

And after today as well it will spend three days as a single link below the article of the day, as is the case with those other three: Exosome complex, Ed Stelmach, and Structural history of the Roman military. So it's a single day of massive traffic followed by three days of not quite as high traffic as the first day but still much more than usual.

To show how this works, take the SkyTrain (Vancouver) article, which was featured near the end of April. Here are the traffic statistics for that page:

Every day before being featured on the main page it received 300-400 hits, then all of a sudden this skyrocketed to 40,000+, then almost 10,000, then two days of 4,000+, and then it settled back down into its prior state. This should certainly be the same with Haumea as well.

The reason why this is a good thing is because we need to snap out of our 9 planets model of the Solar System, which is now completely outdated. This is not just important for abstract reasons either - this 9 planets idea of the Solar System blinds us to potential opportunities right before our very eyes like the possibility of human colonization on the planet Ceres. Even now a great many people seem to think of Ceres as just a puny asteroid with a tiny pittance of gravity to the extent that you could fall off if you took a wrong step, when nothing could be farther from the truth: Ceres has a surface area the size of Alaska+Texas+California put together, and the escape velocity is a full 500 metres per second. Unless you're capable of jumping half a kilometre per second you're not going to be able to escape the surface of Ceres.

Because of that I'm especially pleased with this diagram of the Solar System on Wikipedia:

The order is: Sun, Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Ceres, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto, Haumea, Makemake, Eris.

As for Haumea itself...well, it's a very interesting looking body. I would write more on it but the Wikipedia article tells you all you need to know.

Finally, the French Wikipedia is passing 800,000 articles today. Bonne continuance!


  © Blogger templates Newspaper by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP