New Mexico Welcomes Pluto Back Into the Family

HOUSE JOINT MEMORIAL 54
48th legislature – STATE OF NEW MEXICO – first session, 2007
INTRODUCED BY Joni Marie Gutierrez

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.


We’re glad to see somebody has the good sense to right a wrong. Bravo New Mexico!

For official details go HERE and HERE


Comments

  1. says

    Since the New Horizons Spacecraft won’t get to Pluto for another 8 years, I was a little curious about the mosaic photograph that accompanied the post. A quick search produced the truth:

    The photo you included is MERCURY, the “opposite” of Pluto in terms of solar orbit (it is the closest to the Sun, while Pluto is usually the furthest).

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