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Pluto becomes Arizona’s official state planet

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(The Center Square) – Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs signed a bill on Friday of galactic proportions.

“Pluto is the official state planet,” House Bill 2477 simply states.

Although it is now labeled a “dwarf planet” by the International Astronomical Union, it was considered a planet up until a “resolution” made by the Paris-based group came to fruition in 2006.

However, the bill idea did not come from outer space. The sponsor, Rep. Justin Wilmeth, R-Phoenix, said in a statement to The Center Square that it has to do with the discovery of Pluto at Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff in 1930.

“I came up with the idea to make Pluto Arizona’s state planet because of the historical significance of the discovery,” Wilmeth said.

“Is it a planet? While many believe it is now a dwarf planet, others in the astronomical community still view it as a planet. But that argument is missing the point. What I wanted to do with this bill is celebrate Arizona’s important achievements in space and astronomy while remembering our state’s unique history,” he continued.

Wilmeth thanked Hobbs for signing the bill.

“I’m extremely thankful to Gov. Hobbs for signing the bill and for understanding the historical importance and reasoning for making Pluto Arizona’s state planet. After all, we’re the only state to make that kind of celestial discovery and it made worldwide news at the time,” he further stated.

The bill passed the legislature by a wide margin, but a bipartisan mix of five senators voted against the bill. Those votes were Sens. Anthony Kern, Anna Hernandez, Rosanna Gabaldón, Sally Ann Gonzales, and Priya Sundareshan.

As for the observatory, they have tweeted in support of the move.

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