Arizona Grants 'Official State Planet' Status Despite Scientific Reclassification

Arizona Grants ‘Official State Planet’ Status Despite Scientific Reclassification

Debarylife – Pluto, now a minor planet, has been proclaimed the “official state planet” by Arizona. Government representatives were unfazed, though, as Governor Katie Hobbs said on Friday, March 29, that the former planet would be associated with Arizona as their extraterrestrial representation.

Governor Hobbs sidestepped a question on Pluto’s status as a planet and instead highlighted the efforts made by the state’s space agencies.

“I am proud of Arizona’s pioneering work in space discovery,” she stated. Astronomer Clyde Tombaugh made the discovery of the former planet in the Arizona city of Flagstaff in 1930. To date, this is the only planet to be found in the United States.

Arizona Grants 'Official State Planet' Status Despite Scientific Reclassification (1)

According to Phoenix spokesperson Justin Wilmeth, “the whole story of Clyde is just amazing—just sitting there under the telescope looking for planets by taking photos over some time.” It wasn’t just another star, as evidenced by the statement, “It was two different glass panes that had one little spec of light moving in a different direction.”

He also mentioned that this discovery was made solely by observation and that it was made before supercomputers and computerized telescopes. The “history nerd” went on, “To me, that’s just mind-boggling.”

Pluto, however, lost its status as a “planet” in a 2006 decision by the International Astronomical Union and was given the designation “dwarf planet.”

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Since Pluto hasn’t “cleared its neighboring region of other objects” as other planets have, the modification was made. Because of the area’s weak gravitational attraction, asteroids and space pebbles continue to be present, according to the New York Post. Wilmeth, however, asserts that this is unimportant and that Arizona would not be “picky” about Pluto’s classification.

“It might matter to some that are going to get picky or persnickety about stuff,” they stated. Some legislators and government representatives, however, are still not as persuaded.

Voting against the bill, Senator Sally Ann Gonzales declared, “Scientifically, they took it out of being a planet.” Scientific data, she continued, ought to be taken into account as opposed to “something that we as a Legislature, as a body, sometimes omit.”

It comes at a time when researchers think slushy ice water may reside inside Pluto’s core. “There must be a large elliptical hole in the ground somewhere that conceals the excess weight. And the ocean is a natural place to obtain that,” University of California, Santa Cruz lead author Francis Nimmo stated.

Nimmo believes that the ocean is mostly made up of water mixed with ammonia or some other kind of “antifreeze”. This ocean’s slow refreezing may theoretically split the planet’s shell, which is supported by images captured by New Horizons.

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