backtop


Print


Pluto is now officially a planet in the state of Illinois. However, given that the state's Congress also stated that it was the only planet "to be discovered by an American" the designation should probably be taken with a grain of salt.  (Source: NASA)
Illinois' government tries its hand at astronomy, but makes some glaring errors

The Illinois state government has been reeling from the January impeachment of former Governor Milorad "Rod" Blagojevich.  So to try to take the people's minds off the debacle, or maybe to satisfy their inner love of astronomy, the state Congressional leaders have crafted a rather curious resolution.

The House passed a measure "reinstating" Pluto as a planet.  The announcement from the state's Congress reads:

RESOLVED, BY THE SENATE OF THE NINETY-SIXTH GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS, that as Pluto passes overhead through Illinois’ night skies, that it be reestablished with full planetary status, and that March 13, 2009 be declared “Pluto Day” in the State of Illinois in honor of the date its discovery was announced in 1930.

The elected officials go on to praise the fact that Pluto was discovered by someone from Illinois, stating, "WHEREAS, Clyde Tombaugh, discoverer of the planet Pluto, was born on a farm near the Illinois community of Streator."

And while there's certainly no harm in a bit of state pride, they then go on to make a glaring mistake, stating:

WHEREAS, Dr. Tombaugh is so far the only Illinoisan and only American to ever discover a planet; and...

This is obviously, very inaccurate as Americans have discovered hundreds of planets outside the solar system.  Pluto, though, according to most astronomers, is not one of them.  Most astronomers have agreed that Pluto is too small to be classified as a planet, especially since there's larger objects in farther orbits past Pluto that are not considered Planets. 

In the last year alone, American astronomers have discovered dozens of new worlds and several new moons or moonlets

While a bit factually flawed, Pluto lovers can rejoice at least -- Pluto is back to being a planet, if only in Illinois.





"This is about the Internet.  Everything on the Internet is encrypted. This is not a BlackBerry-only issue. If they can't deal with the Internet, they should shut it off." -- RIM co-CEO Michael Lazaridis
Related Articles
Pluto Gets Classified
June 13, 2008, 5:41 AM







Latest Blog Posts
The Best Android Apps
Saimin Nidarson - May 20, 2017, 6:16 AM






botimage
Copyright 2017 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki