This is the proof that you are the center of the solar system!


This necklace from ThinkGeek puts the solar system around your neck.  The Complete Solar System Necklace puts the sun front and center, with the eight planets spaced on each side of the necklace.  Don’t feel bad for Pluto, though.  He may be only a minor planet now, but ThinkGeek arranged for an exclusive version of this necklace with Pluto dangling on the clasp at the back of the necklace, just for their customers.  Looking at the alternate views of the necklace made me realize how big this piece of jewelry is (the sun isn’t quite actual size), but it sure will be a conversation starter.  With the Complete Solar System Necklace from ThinkGeek, you can not only be the center of the solar system, you can own it too, for only $109.99.

13 thoughts on “This is the proof that you are the center of the solar system!”

  1. Our solar system does NOT have only eight planets, and Pluto most certainly is NOT a “minor planet.” The term “minor planet” is a synonym for asteroids and comets, tiny shapeless bodies held together only by chemical bonds. I appreciate your creating a version of this necklace with Pluto, but I respectfully request you place Pluto back with the planets rather than in the back of the clasp where no one can see it.

    Many people are unaware that the debate over Pluto’s status is far from settled and remains ongoing. Only four percent of the IAU voted on the controversial demotion, and most are not planetary scientists. Their decision as immediately opposed in a formal petition by hundreds of professional astronomers led by Dr. Alan Stern, Principal Investigator of NASA’s New Horizons mission to Pluto.

    As a writer and amateur astronomer who runs a blog advocating the planetary status of Pluto and all dwarf planets, I would be happy to promote and publicize a new version of the necklace that includes Pluto with the planets. If you want to be even more inclusive, why not also include the four other small planets in our solar system–Ceres, Haumea, Makemake, and Eris. According to the equally legitimate geophysical planet definition, these objects are all planets (and not minor planets) because they are large enough to be rounded by their own gravity.

  2. @Laurel Kornfeld Our solar system does have only eight planets, as determined by the International Astronomical Union and accepted by NASA. Until the IAU changes their collective minds in a re-vote, Pluto is classified as a dwarf planet (not minor, as I said in the post), which NASA defines as being too small to clear obstructions out of its orbit.

    Also, neither The Gadgeteer nor ThinkGeek manufactures this necklace. ThinkGeek sells it, and The Gadgeteer reports on that fact.

  3. @Janet Cloninger Science is not decided by a decree from on high. Since only four percent of the total IAU membership voted on this, we cannot even assume it is agreed upon by the other 96 percent. There was no absentee voting, and unless one was in a particular room on a particular day, one had no say in the matter.

    NASA does NOT take a position either for or against the IAU decision. Individual scientists at NASA are not required to support it. In fact, NASA’s New Horizons mission does not support the IAU decision, and regular articles put out by Dr. Stern and others on the mission team regularly refer to Pluto as a planet.

    NASA never defined dwarf planets as “too small to clear obstructions out of their orbits.” That, again, was four percent of the IAU. NASA had nothing to do with it. In fact, Dr. Stern is the person who came up with the term “dwarf planet,” but his intention was to designated a third class of planets in addition to terrestrials and jovians, not to designate a class of non-planets. The tiny percentage of the IAU who voted completely misappropriated his term.

    Counting dwarf planets as a subclass of planets, which they are, our solar system has 13 or 14 planets, depending on whether one counts Charon as a binary companion to Pluto. These planets are Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Ceres, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto, Charon, Haumea, Makemake, and Eris.

    Our solar system does NOT have only eight planets according to the equally scientific geophysical planet definition, which does not impose a “requirement” that an object clear its orbit to be a planet. No solar system planet has fully cleared its orbit of asteroids, including Earth. Neptune has not cleared its orbit of Pluto.

    As for spherical moons, which many advocates of the geophysical planet definition consider secondary or satellite planets, two of them are bigger than the planet Mercury. So if being smaller than a solar system moon makes an object not a planet, then Mercury should not be classed as a planet either.

    It is downright scary to read a statement like “until the IAU changes their collective minds in a re-vote, Pluto is classified as a dwarf planet …” Who elected the IAU to be arbiters of what is fact and what isn’t? Their view represents one view in an ongoing debate. That’s it. There are even plans in the works to start a new, more inclusive astronomical organization. We didn’t need the IAU to decide that relativity is true or that we have billions of galaxies instead of one. The data, not a self-appointed “authoritative body,” determine what is fact and what is true.

  4. Nomenclature is about naming things, in this case, celestial objects (such as the names recently given to Pluto’s fourth and fifth moons). It does not extend to determining what is and is not a planet. That is beyond the scope of the IAU’s mission, which is why so many astronomers and members of the general public reject it.

    Of course you’re free to sell any design of jewelry you want. You should also know there are many people who would be more likely to buy a necklace that includes Pluto with the planets.

  5. @Laurel Kornfeld For someone who likes to spout facts and correct perceived misconceptions you have ignored one major fact stated by Janet NEITHER SHE, NOR THE GADGETEER SELL THIS ITEM!!!!!!! This is an item that caught her eye and she posted about it.

  6. @Larry I plan to contact ThinkGeek as well. It always is helpful to have a public platform for comments; chances are good that at least someone from that company is reading these. The writer did use the phrase “the eight planets,” when a better description would have been “eight of the planets.”

  7. Who are these people to say Pluto isn’t a planet? If Mercury is smaller than Pluto, why is Mercury not called a dwarf?

    This is starting to sound like GWBush being appointed president in the year 2000 by a republican majority kangaroo court against the will and votes of the American people and you saw what that brought..

    BTW they should try making the necklace smaller with 9 smaller planets of semi and precious stones and some diamonds for stars in between…Charge more for a better product…What is it made out of now?

  8. demoan, Mercury is not smaller than Pluto. However, both are large enough and massive enough to be squeezed into a round shape, a state known as hydrostatic equilibrium. That, at least according to the geophysical planet definition, is what makes them planets. Since Pluto will be very popular next year, due to the New Horizons flyby, I hope ThinkGeek seriously considers making a 2.0 version of this necklace that includes Pluto and the other dwarf planets too! Significantly the Dawn mission will go into orbit around Ceres next year as well.

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