HUBBLE PORTRAIT OF THE "DOUBLE PLANET" PLUTO & CHARON - This is the clearest view yet of the distant planet Pluto and its moon, Charon, as revealed by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope (HST). The image was taken by the European Space Agency's Faint Object Camera on February 21, 1994 when the planet was 2.6 billion miles (4.4 billion kilometers) from Earth; or nearly 30 times the separation between Earth and the sun.
Hubble's corrected optics show the two objects as clearly separate and sharp disks. This now allows astronomers to measure directly (to within about 1 percent) Pluto's diameter of 1440 miles (2320 kilometers) and Charon's diameter of 790 miles (1270 kilometers). Caption & Image Credit: Dr. R. Albrecht, ESA/ESO Space Telescope European Coordinating Facility; NASA
WHEREAS - New Mexico Declares Pluto A "Planet"
Only in America can a Government (in this case, a state Government) declare that a scientific determination is wrong and overturn it.
Pluto is a planet because, according to New Mexico, Pluto was discovered from a facility located in New Mexico, by a longtime resident of New Mexico, with a telescope operated by a university in New Mexico!
So states a "Joint Memorial" put forth today at a session of the legislature of New Mexico.
This, of course, is what Al Gore wants all Governments to do on behalf of his Global Warming POV, in reverse.
Global Warming, or at least the argument that human activity and CO2 gasses created by human activity is the cause of the recent percieved changes in the climate on Earth, should not necessarily be proven, but declared FACT through Government action.
Of course, this would mean that the Government would be able to micro-manage every aspect of human activity to the detriment of our freedoms in the pursuit of happiness.
The Government has the obligation to first prove something is true beyond a shadow of a doubt before it enters into the "lemming march" process to wholesale communistic dictatorship.
Memorial text for HJM054, State of New Mexico -
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.
As for Pluto, hey, come on ... it WAS a planet for 75 years before it was determined that it wasn't.
Changes in the global temperature of the planet Earth have been happening all the while for hundreds of millions of years. There really isn't any need for a WHEREAS here.
The proof that the scientific community continues to be under threat from Governmental organizations (and the Al Gore imperative) is not that hard to find. Take this article from the Telegraph (UK) -
Scientists threatened for 'climate denial'
By Tom Harper, Sunday Telegraph - Last Updated: 12:24am GMT 11/03/2007
Scientists who questioned mankind's impact on climate change have received death threats and claim to have been shunned by the scientific community.
They say the debate on global warming has been "hijacked" by a powerful alliance of politicians, scientists and environmentalists who have stifled all questioning about the true environmental impact of carbon dioxide emissions.
Timothy Ball, a former climatology professor at the University of Winnipeg in Canada, has received five deaths threats by email since raising concerns about the degree to which man was affecting climate change.
"Western governments have pumped billions of dollars into careers and institutes and they feel threatened," said the professor.
"I can tolerate being called a sceptic because all scientists should be sceptics, but then they started calling us deniers, with all the connotations of the Holocaust. That is an obscenity. It has got really nasty and personal."
The tracking of the ice ages over time - based on scientific evidence. Image Credit: The Great Global Warming Swindle
Last week, Professor Ball appeared in The Great Global Warming Swindle, a Channel 4 [UK]documentary in which several scientists claimed the theory of man-made global warming had become a "religion", forcing alternative explanations to be ignored.
Richard Lindzen, the professor of Atmospheric Science at Massachusetts Institute of Technology - who also appeared on the documentary - recently claimed: "Scientists who dissent from the alarmism have seen their funds disappear, their work derided, and themselves labelled as industry stooges.
"Consequently, lies about climate change gain credence even when they fly in the face of the science."
Dr Myles Allen, from Oxford University, agreed. He said: "The Green movement has hijacked the issue of climate change. It is ludicrous to suggest the only way to deal with the problem is to start micro managing everyone, which is what environmentalists seem to want to do."
Nigel Calder, a former editor of New Scientist, said: "Governments are trying to achieve unanimity by stifling any scientist who disagrees. Einstein could not have got funding under the present system."
Maybe, just as a point of order, Pluto should go DOWN!
On behalf of thretened scientists worldwide, we all should proclaim our rights and not allow New Mexico to trifle with the ruling on Pluto ... Pluto is NOT a planet!
UPDATE - March 18, 2007:
Pluto Casts It's Non-Planet Shadow Today
Even though Pluto has been demoted in status, it still exists. Today the "object" passes between the Earth and a distant star.
Excerpts from Space.com via Yahoo! -
All Eyes on Pluto Sunday
By Jeanna Bryner, Staff Writer - SPACE.com - Thu Mar 15, 10:45 AM ET
Telescopes all over the southwestern United States will turn toward Pluto as it meanders Sunday across the face of a star in the constellation Sagittarius. The observations could help researchers better understand the dwarf planet's atmosphere.
Called an occultation, the phenomenon is akin to a solar eclipse. Just as our Moon casts its shadow onto Earth when it passes directly in front of the Sun, other planets also cast their shadows onto Earth when they pass in front of a star.
"Occultations are the only way we can monitor the atmosphere of Pluto from the Earth," said William Hubbard of the University of Arizona's Lunar and Planetary Laboratory.
Occultations occur about once every 5 to 10 years for Pluto, but the phenomenon will become more frequent now that Pluto has moved between Earth and the central region of the Milky Way where most of our galaxy's stars reside. With so many chance star encounters, Pluto is expected to experience one or two occultations each year.
Pluto will pass in front of the star at 6 a.m. Eastern, and take about six minutes to complete its journey. This is about three times longer than typical Pluto occultations. In addition to the relatively long show, the shadow will be cast on the southwestern United States, a region heavily populated with giant telescopes.
The average skywatcher will miss out on a view of the event, unless they are equipped with a 20-inch or larger diameter telescope.
Depending on where along its orbit Pluto is in relation to the Sun, its atmosphere ranges from -391 to -274 degrees Fahrenheit (-235 to -170 degrees Celsius).
'What we get at the Earth is just a shadow of Pluto-a guest in the starlight,' Hubbard told SPACE.com. 'The radius of the shadow is related to the radius of the atmosphere, how far the atmosphere goes above the surface.'
The observations could also inform future work done by NASA's New Horizons spacecraft, en route to Pluto now.