Pluto is a planet again, at least in Illinois

The government of Illinois has declared that Pluto is a planet.

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.

In 2006 the International Astronomical Union resolution created an official definition for the term “planet”.  But since Pluto did not meet the criteria (Pluto had not cleared the neighbourhood around its orbit) it was demoted from full Planet to dwarf planet. This decision was not without a serious amount of angry arguing amongst astronomers, amateurs and others.

Obviously the Government of Illinois disagree with the IAU – but why? Well the person who discovered Pluto was born in their state so the demotion of the planetary status also demotes the local pride and tourist value (seriously? is there a tourist value in being the state where the man who discovered Pluto was born?)

This is really cool – imagine if states began randomly redefining nature to suit their political needs?

Well its a good way to begin the weekend with a smile.

(via Discovery Blogs)

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