Sunday, March 13, 2011

Official "Pluto" day


March 13 marks anniversary of the official announcement of the discovery of Pluto and has become a totemic date for all those who wish to see the IAU decision to reclassify Pluto overturned; lawmakers in New Mexico (home to the Lowell Observatory, the observatory that first spotted Pluto) and Illinois (birthplace of Clyde Thombough, Pluto's discoverer) have both declared March 13 as Pluto Day. Many remain in protest today resulting from the 2006 decision.

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1 comment:

Laurel Kornfeld said...

Thanks for reporting this! I wish there were a similar protest here on the East Coast. Seattle is a long way from New Jersey. I will buy the T-shirt though.

Interestingly, astronomical discoveries are slowly weakening the IAU planet definition. An exoplanet system was recently discovered in which two planets share a single orbit. Vesta, to which Dawn is headed, is starting to be recognized as a lot more planet-like than asteroid-like, potentially opening the way to a new category--protoplanets.