I can’t emphasise enough how much I love this short film. It may only be 13 minutes long, but it is as small as it is mighty, much like the dwarf planet itself.
“Naming Pluto” documents the adventure of how Pluto got its name. Inevitably with most astronomical studies, there can be some controversy surrounding the naming of celestial objects, often depending on traditional naming protocol and who made the discovery first. The naming of Pluto on the other hand appears to take on a more natural tact, starting with a conversation in 1930 involving a little girl named Venetia Phair and her grandfather, over breakfast in Oxfordshire.
Father Films have just released a trailer for their magnificent film, giving you a taster as to what to expect. I had the pleasure of watching and reviewing a copy late last year, and I was blown away by the accuracy, wonder and history that can be packed into 13 minutes (note that the DVD has extras included, extending the content to 40 minutes). I fell in love with Pluto all over again – suddenly the fact that the IAU had demoted the planet to a dwarf planet (and then to a plutoid) didn’t matter any more. Written, directed and produced by Ginita Jimenez, Naming Pluto is in the true spirit of the International Year of Astronomy, capturing the excitement surrounding a tiny member of the Solar System with excellence. I wholeheartedly recommend this short film, it needs to be in your DVD collection! Patrick Moore is also at his best, giving the proceeds his unique style. And don’t just take it from me, Astronomy Now has also given the film a highly enthusiastic review.
Check out the Naming Pluto Facebook events page for more information »
You can purchase a copy of the DVD and poster from the Father Films website.
For more, check out my reviews of Naming Pluto on the Universe Today and Astroengine.com.
One thought on “Naming Pluto: The Trailer”
The IAU’s controversial demotion of Pluto deserves to be ignored and overturned, as it was done by only four percent of the group’s members, most of whom are not planetary scientists and was immediately rejected by hundreds of professional astronomers led by Dr. Alan Stern, Principal Investigator of NASA’s New Horizons mission to Pluto. The IAU’s statement that dwarf planets are not planets at all makes no lingusitic sense. It’s like saying a grizzly bear is not a bear! And it is inconsistent with the use of the term “dwarf” in astronomy, where dwarf stars are still stars, and dwarf galaxies are still galaxies. That is why many scientists and lay people are working to get the demotion overturned or are ignoring it altogether. This debate is far from over. I do look forward to watching this film, but I am confident that sooner rather than later, its planetary status will be restored, with dwarf planet simply classed as one subcategory of planets.