Pluto Is Still a Planet, Illinois Senate Declares

By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 6, 2009 12:59 PM CST
Pluto was downgraded to a dwarf planet in 2006, because it didn't meet the requirement that a planet clear the area around it of debris due to its gravity.   (Shutter Stock)
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(Newser) – Having helped install a hometown boy in the White House and ousted its colorful governor, Illinois is next out to save Pluto, the Guardian reports. The state senate blasted the International Astronomical Union’s 2006 decision to demote the erstwhile ninth planet to a “dwarf planet,” and voted unanimously to return to “full planetary status” the orb first sighted in 1930 by a native son, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch adds.

The senate said Pluto was “unfairly downgraded” and declared next Friday “Pluto Day” as a nod to astronomer Clyde Tombaugh, the Streator, Ill., man credited with its discovery.