Despite the State of Illinois’ deficit of nearly $9 Billion and a recession with record unemployment, the Illinois Senate has apparently plenty of spare time to vote on trivial issues such as whether or not to make Pluto a full planet again. A bill that was unanimously-approved by the ninety-sixth general assembly of the state of Illinois declares that as Pluto passes overhead through Illinois’ night skies (whatever that means?!), it be reestablished with full planetary status.
Uh, shouldn’t they leave this sort of astronomy stuff to the astronomers? Pluto was downgraded to a dwarf planet in 2006 after the International Astronomical Union defined the term “planet” for the first time and reclassified Pluto as a member of the new category of dwarf planets along with Eris and Ceres.
Pluto’s official status has been controversial and many people including astronomers, have criticized the organization’s definition of a planet. Still, is this something for a state to determine if an international union of astronomers have declared the opposite?
And if that is not enough, the senate has also declared that March 13th be declared Pluto Day in the State of Illinois in honor of the day in 1930 when Pluto’s discovery was announced by Clyde Tombaugh, who according to the new legislation “is so far the only Illinoisan and only American to ever discover a planet”. I have news for you Illinois legislators: various Americans, like Geoffrey Marcy, have discovered lots of planets outside our solar system.
Anyway, I’m excited about Pluto Day next week here in Illinois! It is totally going to steal the thunder of St. Patrick’s Day. On Pluto Day we can all go out and … uh … what does one actually do on Pluto Day? 😐