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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.

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By Master Kenobi on 3/6/2009 9:10:50 AM , Rating: 5
Will the insanity never end?

RE: Politicians....
By AnnihilatorX on 3/6/2009 9:27:27 AM , Rating: 3
Politics is and has always been about lies and corruption with the sole goal of capturing votes in the name of false democraticism.

RE: Politicians....
By Suntan on 3/6/2009 9:33:48 AM , Rating: 5
Don’t be silly. Politics has always been about trying to come to an agreement that most of the group can be happy with.

It only degrades to lies and corruption when the regular folk couldn’t be arsed to pay attention and participate (which, sadly, is most of the time.)


RE: Politicians....
By phxfreddy on 3/6/2009 9:46:42 AM , Rating: 2
aaah!! ... So that is where Blogo is from! GeeSus now I understand!

RE: Politicians....
By dever on 3/6/2009 1:11:16 PM , Rating: 5
At least Illinoisans can be comforted in the fact that their politicians were temporarily distracted from inflicting their usual harm directly on the populace.

RE: Politicians....
By Seemonkeyscanfly on 3/6/2009 4:32:11 PM , Rating: 4
As a Citizen of Illinois, I promise you one thing. There is no temporary distraction – it’s continuous, business as usually. Our politicians have illusion of grander and think themselves to be very wise, useful, and caring. I do not know the name of the disease that they have but I warn you now... It has spread to the Whitehouse.

RE: Politicians....
By phxfreddy on 3/7/09, Rating: 0
RE: Politicians....
By segerstein on 3/7/09, Rating: 0
RE: Politicians....
By crimson40 on 3/9/2009 9:18:22 AM , Rating: 1
Yep, just like Obama did great things for Illinois... (The nearly bankrupt state with higher unemployment than the surrounding states.)

RE: Politicians....
By Chemical Chris on 3/6/2009 12:32:04 PM , Rating: 5
Politics is and has always been about lies and corruption with the sole goal of capturing votes in the name of false democraticism.

Amen to to that!
But I would also add that whenever their lies and corruption become exposed, divert attention to some unimportant issue and act like its the biggest thing since sliced bread, distracts the public quite effectively.
ie, Illinois is reeling from corruption, but look here, we're making a pluto a planet! Thats it, look over there, at Pluto, nothing to see here, no corruption or anything...


RE: Politicians....
By Dreifort on 3/6/2009 10:07:17 AM , Rating: 5
insanity end?

well... this is the same state that has a law that states "The English language is not to be spoken." Apparently the officially recognized language is “American”.

Also, you can be convicted of a Class 4 felony offense, punishable by up to three years in state prison, for the crime of “eavesdropping” on your own conversation. -720 ILCS 5/14-2.

RE: Politicians....
By afkrotch on 3/6/2009 11:31:38 AM , Rating: 2
Well, Americans speak American and English speak English. Like aluminium and aluminum. Ear plugs and ear defenders. Wind shields and wind screens. Semi and lorry.

RE: Politicians....
By MozeeToby on 3/6/2009 11:41:09 AM , Rating: 5
So where do you draw the line? I must speak Mid-Western then, since I say Pop instead of Soda, Milk instead of 'Melk', bubbler instead of drinking fountain...

People in the US speak American English, people in England speak the Queen's English. Both english, just different dialects.

RE: Politicians....
By gerf on 3/6/2009 6:07:33 PM , Rating: 2
I thought "bubbler" was just a Sheboygan saying. I'm from Ohio, and had never heard that before. Speaking of Sheboygan, they also are the only Midwesterners to say "soda" instead of "pop."

RE: Politicians....
By xenos123 on 3/7/2009 7:50:00 AM , Rating: 2
Why do Americans always seem to refer to force in the naming of everyday objects? Shields, defenders?

Also it's now American English or International (British) English.

RE: Politicians....
By Bender 123 on 3/6/2009 10:52:38 AM , Rating: 2
Please remember the governmant tried to declare ketchup (or Catsup...) a vegetable...When a tomato is a fruit and Ketchup is a sauce containing herb/spices/sugar.

Calling Pluto a planet is at least defensible by a logical argument. Stupid, but defensible.

RE: Politicians....
By phxfreddy on 3/7/2009 10:37:27 AM , Rating: 3
Shut up and eat your vegetables!

RE: Politicians....
By maverick85wd on 3/6/2009 10:58:17 AM , Rating: 5

RE: Politicians....
By spread on 3/6/2009 11:13:12 AM , Rating: 5
Insanity? You sir are mistaken.

Pluto has a right to equality just like the other planets!

RE: Politicians....
By wrekd on 3/6/2009 7:35:43 PM , Rating: 5
Leave Britney-I mean Pluto alone!

RE: Politicians....
By SlyNine on 3/6/2009 12:42:54 PM , Rating: 2
So let me get this straight, a group of people got together. Felt it necessary to pointlessly label something so far away you cannot even see it, and could not be less relevant.

Now if the people on Pluto said it was a planet lol, maybe I could understand the debate.

RE: Politicians....
By Dwayno on 3/6/2009 4:11:31 PM , Rating: 5
I wonder how much the delegates from Pluto had to pay Governor Milorad "Rod" Blagojevich to get him to pass this legislation?

RE: Politicians....
By winterspan on 3/6/2009 5:39:59 PM , Rating: 1
Can we at least all agree that politics should NEVER trump science???

Brought to you by the State of Illinois...
By napalmjack on 3/6/2009 9:15:00 AM , Rating: 5
Corrupting government since 1818!

RE: Brought to you by the State of Illinois...
By FITCamaro on 3/6/2009 10:47:35 AM , Rating: 1
I'm just surprised they haven't passed Obama Day yet.

RE: Brought to you by the State of Illinois...
By callmeroy on 3/6/2009 10:55:10 AM , Rating: 2
Just a day? I wouldn't be shocked if they don't change the story of Easter to have Obama be risen one.

Such idiots --- we got change alright.....can you can believe in.............................that it will destroy the country.

By winterspan on 3/6/2009 5:36:00 PM , Rating: 2
STFU you idiot!

By djkrypplephite on 3/6/2009 11:29:08 AM , Rating: 2
They did, it's called Christmas. They're just working on changing the name and theme.

RE: Brought to you by the State of Illinois...
By FITCamaro on 3/6/09, Rating: -1
RE: Brought to you by the State of Illinois...
By maven81 on 3/6/2009 2:05:18 PM , Rating: 5
Let's make a deal shall we? If in 2012 the economy is no better then it is now, the unemployment is higher, and government is still broken you can gloat to your heart's content.
Until then STOP WHINING!!! It's getting boring. And you manage to turn just about every single thread into a rant about Obama.

By Keeir on 3/6/2009 3:29:36 PM , Rating: 3
Not to take sides, but to point out something

Even if the government did absolutely nothing, the economy will most likely (based on history) be better in 2012.

And the government will still be broken in 2012 (again based on history), even if Obama is the best president we have had to this point in history.

So you have a good point, but maybe you should have picked more reasonable things...

By phxfreddy on 3/7/2009 10:43:45 AM , Rating: 1
Wait to find out how he does. How convenient. Wait till you are murdered to call the cops works just about as well.

Obama is the head man doing it on the down low. You can see the video of the guy who got cocaine for Obama and then polished his knob here: You poor saps who can't see the hand in front of your face need to wait. I do not. I have a school of hard knox business education and there is really only one thing you need to learn so listen well:

There aint no such thing as a free lunch.

a.k.a. TANSTAAFL ( google it )

By TMV192 on 3/6/2009 9:32:01 AM , Rating: 4
This is not what I had in mind when President Obama said the US would return to focusing on science

RE: Science
By TSS on 3/6/2009 10:58:42 AM , Rating: 1
changing stuff to make it worse is still change.

that said though, i do support pluto as a planet. not a moon, or "moonlet". or asteroid. or meteorite. or comet. or planetoid. or planetlet.

can't we just go back to calling them all "big pieces of rock"?

RE: Science
By MozeeToby on 3/6/2009 11:25:20 AM , Rating: 2

Has a wildly different orbit compared to the other planets.
Is much smaller than the other planets.
Is smaller than at least one object not recognized as a planet by anyone.
Isn't massive enough for gravity to pull it into a sphere.
Formed differently from the other planets.
Exists in a region of space containing thousands (if not millions) of similar (though smaller) bodies.

When Pluto was first discovered, it made sense to call it a planet. Now that we know more about Pluto, as well as about our solar system, it no longer makes sense. Science is about discovery, if we ignore all the new information for the purpose of nostalgia... well, that just isn't science.

RE: Science
By phazers on 3/6/2009 4:08:26 PM , Rating: 2
Isn't massive enough for gravity to pull it into a sphere.

Hmm, looks spherical enough to me in the Hubble photographs as well as the Charon mapping.

From the Wiki article on Pluto, it seems it only fails the third "planetary" test, of failing to have cleared its neighborhood around its orbit of other stuff.

So Pluto may be small and keep a dirty house :) but at least its rotund enough for planetary purposes, unlike the Illinois gov't..

RE: Science
By kmmatney on 3/7/2009 3:24:09 PM , Rating: 2
It does have its own moon.

Waiting for the other shoe to drop
By MrTeal on 3/6/2009 9:15:41 AM , Rating: 2
I've heard rumblings that the government is Wisconsin is passing a declaration stating the moon is made of 100% Wisconsin cheese. Imagine how much tastier moon rocks will be for the Orion astronauts!

RE: Waiting for the other shoe to drop
By Dreifort on 3/6/2009 10:13:03 AM , Rating: 2
Hey! We all know that the moon is not made of green cheese.
But what if it were made of barbeque spare ribs, would you eat it then?
It's a simple question, would you eat the moon if it were made of ribs?
know I would. Heck! I'd have seconds and then polish it off with a tall cool Budweiser.
It's not rocket science, just say yes and we'll move on.

What's your favorite planet? Mine's the sun.

RE: Waiting for the other shoe to drop
By Skunkbeard on 3/6/2009 11:35:36 AM , Rating: 2
Sun's not a planet. But Uranus is! :)

By hiscross on 3/6/2009 12:09:00 PM , Rating: 2
Listen Son, I am took a planet and I get very hot when people say I'm not. I can come closer if you want.

By Spuke on 3/6/2009 7:01:04 PM , Rating: 2
But what if it were made of barbeque spare ribs, would you eat it then?
Nice!!!! That's one of his best skits, IMO.

Pure silliness
By flabonte on 3/6/2009 9:37:59 AM , Rating: 5
Why are they wasting time and tax payer money with such silliness? And since when do they think they have any authority in such matters? This is pure craziness.

RE: Pure silliness
By SignoR on 3/6/2009 10:04:35 AM , Rating: 2
not the first time

And it wouldn’t be the first time that an elected body has taken on the BCS system; the Georgia House of Representatives passed a resolution in February to urge the NCAA to adopt a playoff system.

RE: Pure silliness
By mindless1 on 3/6/2009 10:49:20 AM , Rating: 3
Look on the bright side, this is a lot less wasteful than usual, if they can be this thrifty doing silly things let them be effectively worthless instead of a liability.

The next law
By nafhan on 3/6/2009 12:25:11 PM , Rating: 3
Next they'll be trying to redefine mathematical constants!

Never mind, they already tried that.

RE: The next law
By nafhan on 3/6/2009 12:27:32 PM , Rating: 2
And yeah, I realize this is Indiana, not Illinois.

RE: The next law
By MrPickins on 3/6/2009 1:39:27 PM , Rating: 2
That was the first thing I though of after reading the article title.

By bigbubba on 3/6/2009 2:53:17 PM , Rating: 2
What makes them think that they are so high and mighty over in Illinois?! How could they possibly think that they know more than most Astronimists?! I'm American and I think this is stereotypical American mentaility that everyone hates and that we should try NOT to do. Internationally this will make people look down on the country as a whole, not just the state. Your pathetic Illinois. Sorry about the anger, but this really pushes my buttons. They seriously coudn't think of something better to help improve state pride?! Sad.

RE: wow...
By omnicronx on 3/6/2009 3:15:15 PM , Rating: 3
What makes them think that they are so high and mighty over in Illinois?! How could they possibly think that they know more than most Astronimists?!
I don't agree, as there is no such thing as an Astronimist.. Now if you meant Astronomers, then I concur ;)

RE: wow...
By Raidin on 3/11/2009 9:02:29 AM , Rating: 2
An Astronomist is a professional Astronomer. DUH!

By B3an on 3/6/2009 10:39:32 AM , Rating: 5
This is just so ridiculous.

Only in america.

'most astronomers'
By ZachDontScare on 3/6/2009 2:18:33 PM , Rating: 2
Most astronomers have agreed that Pluto is too small to be classified as a planet

I dont know if this is actually true. The IAU voted on it, but they are not all astronomers - just a subset of them. My understanding is that many planetary scientists consider the 'new' definition of a planet to be lacking. The whole 'cleared its neighborhood' qualifier is too arbitrary, given that most of the other planets (including exo-planets, as far as we know) havent done that either.

RE: 'most astronomers'
By StoveMeister on 3/6/2009 7:36:19 PM , Rating: 2
The whole 'cleared its neighborhood' qualifier is too arbitrary

Ah not really, go here: an you'll see that the measurements of how clear the neighbourhood around the non-planets (Planetoids/Plutoids whatever) are at least 4 factors of ten lower than planets. Pretty clear demarcation IMO.

By Smokey48 on 3/6/2009 11:37:28 AM , Rating: 1
I thought Pluto was a dog.

RE: Woof!
By vapore0n on 3/6/2009 11:42:36 AM , Rating: 2
and Uranus is well...

Hung like planet Pluto
By on 3/6/2009 9:18:06 AM , Rating: 2
Hard to see with the naked eye

Change the State's Nickname?
By ElementZero on 3/6/2009 9:35:11 AM , Rating: 2
Illinois: The Planet Pluto State

They can call it...
By taisingera on 3/6/2009 9:46:05 AM , Rating: 2
Blagoworld, and send their wacky ex-gov there.

By Cubexco on 3/6/2009 10:01:51 AM , Rating: 2
... Encourage the purchase of a submarine to patrol the waters of the Commonwealth and search and destroy all casino riverboats.

It is a few years old.
The actual bill -

This is Great News
By hiscross on 3/6/2009 10:16:11 AM , Rating: 2
I just flew back from a trip to Pluto and everyone there was bummed because some earthling took their planet off the planet list. I wish I could have been there when this news hit. BTW, Pluto people voted for Hope and Change.

better this
By stilltrying on 3/6/2009 11:21:44 AM , Rating: 2
I would rather have them doing this then proposing more laws (chains and shackles). I live in IL and it is pathetic. This state is a dictionary term for pathetic. I would move in a heartbeat but I cant get my wife to.

this begs the question...
By meepstone on 3/6/2009 11:22:33 AM , Rating: 2
Do us normal people care.

Pluto named a planet by Illinois
By johnbuk on 3/6/2009 11:31:39 AM , Rating: 2
I wonder how much it cost the Plutonians to make this happen? If it was enough, we should see some Plutonians getting some cushy Illinios job appointments soon.

Your Bailout money at work?
By Skunkbeard on 3/6/2009 11:45:25 AM , Rating: 2
I wonder if this is the sort of thing we can expect State governments to spend their Bailout money on? Frivolous legislation to justify their new pay raises?

By ZachDontScare on 3/6/2009 2:08:17 PM , Rating: 2
This is obviously, very inaccurate as Americans have discovered hundreds of planets outside the solar system.

Well, yes, if you mince words, but its clear enough what they mean. This is a dumb proclamation, but its just a proclaimation in support of a former resident. Like someone said above, its better they do this than spend efforts raising taxes.

By ggordonliddy on 3/7/2009 1:29:40 AM , Rating: 2
Are you out of your Vulcan mind?

By asliuf on 3/7/2009 9:36:07 AM , Rating: 2
as a native illinoisian myself, i am quite saddened. This bothers me more than blagojevich being an idiot or roland burris being an idiot.

being 17, at least i have the small pleasure of not having voted for any of these ignoramuses.

"The whole principle [of censorship] is wrong. It's like demanding that grown men live on skim milk because the baby can't have steak." -- Robert Heinlein
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