Plutonic Love

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pluto.jpg

Evolutionary biology, sex ed, global warming …. Add astronomy to the list of sciences in which politicians are meddling. A lawmaker has proposed that New Mexico declare Pluto a planet:

“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.”

The bill defies the International Astronomical Union’s vote last summer to demote Pluto to “dwarf planet” status. Astronomers are baffled.

“Pluto was misclassified,” writes astronomer Julianne Dalcanton. “States have rights, but I don’t think this is one of them.”

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This is a big one for us. So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

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