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New Mexico Declares Pluto a Planet, March 13, 2007 be declared "Pluto Planet Day" at the legisla
lyford
post Mar 8 2007, 09:57 PM
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Text of Resolution
QUOTE
A JOINT MEMORIAL
DECLARING PLUTO A PLANET AND DECLARING MARCH 13, 2007, "PLUTO PLANET DAY" AT THE LEGISLATURE.

WHEREAS, the state of New Mexico is a global center for astronomy, astrophysics and planetary science; and
WHEREAS, New Mexico is home to world class astronomical observing facilities, such as the Apache Point observatory, the very large array, the Magdalena Ridge observatory and the national solar observatory; and
WHEREAS, Apache Point observatory, operated by New Mexico state university, houses the astrophysical research consortium's three-and-one-half meter telescope, as well as the unique two-and-one-half meter diameter Sloan digital sky survey telescope; and
WHEREAS, New Mexico state university has the state's only independent, doctorate-granting astronomy department; and
WHEREAS, New Mexico state university and Dona Ana county were the longtime home of Clyde Tombaugh, discoverer of Pluto; and
WHEREAS, Pluto has been recognized as a planet for seventy-five years; and
WHEREAS, Pluto's average orbit is three billion six hundred ninety-five million nine hundred fifty thousand miles from the sun, and its diameter is approximately one thousand four hundred twenty-one miles; and
WHEREAS, Pluto has three moons known as Charon, Nix and Hydra; and
WHEREAS, a spacecraft called new horizons was launched in January 2006 to explore Pluto in the year 2015;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO that, as Pluto passes overhead through New Mexico's excellent night skies, it be declared a planet and that March 13, 2007 be declared "Pluto Planet Day" at the legislature.


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Lyford Rome
"Zis is not nuts, zis is super-nuts!" Mathematician Richard Courant on viewing an Orion test
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alan
post Mar 8 2007, 10:11 PM
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QUOTE
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO that, as Pluto passes overhead through New Mexico's excellent night skies, it be declared a planet...

So Pluto is a planet only when it is visible from New Mexico?
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Littlebit
post Mar 8 2007, 10:21 PM
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It always looks like a planet to me.
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dvandorn
post Mar 9 2007, 07:07 AM
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"...it's an object to you,
But it's always a planet to me..."

-the other Doug


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“The trouble ain't that there is too many fools, but that the lightning ain't distributed right.” -Mark Twain
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Big_Gazza
post Mar 9 2007, 07:26 AM
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Good Lord.... huh.gif

You would think the politicians can find better ways to waste tax-payer money than by passing pointless resolutions like this laugh.gif
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JRehling
post Mar 9 2007, 05:50 PM
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QUOTE (Big_Gazza @ Mar 8 2007, 11:26 PM) *
Good Lord.... huh.gif

You would think the politicians can find better ways to waste tax-payer money than by passing pointless resolutions like this laugh.gif


I would; I would even think the same of astronomers. I figure a fair chunk of the money spent flying astronomers to Prague came from the taxpayers one way or another. It's not Big Business funding astronomy.

Keeping in mind the bone-headed precedent of Indiana passing legislation in 1897 decreeing the value of pi, and doubtless many opportunities for New Mexico legislatures to pay attention to life and death problems, this isn't the worst government action I've heard of. Even had New Mexico no particular interest in Pluto, this is a "taking back" of authority from eggheads at, unlike the Indiana situation, an appropriate time. "Planet" really is a popular term, and officials elected by the population (albeit of a tiny fraction of the world population) are if anything better equipped to lay out a definition of "planet" than scientists who seem to have forgotten that the delineation between "planet" and "asteroid" has no scientific meaning or use.

In material terms, New Mexico has reminded people that it was by one of theirs that Pluto was discovered, which puts New Mexico in rare company. Given their other quirky space-related history, it might bring in enough tourist dollars to pay for the legislators' time.
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gpurcell
post Mar 9 2007, 08:46 PM
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These resolutions don't really cost much; just a bit of time drafting them up and perhaps printing up a formal document. You would be shocked how many (and how quickly) they get processed.
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