Saturday, February 25, 2012

Scientists Want New Stamp For Pluto

Don Finley writes on the My Sant Antonio website, "Two decades ago, the Postal Service issued a series of stamps depicting Earth, its moon, and the spacecraft sent to explore each of the other planets in the solar system. The 10th stamp, featuring tiny, distant Pluto, was the only one to read 'not yet explored.'

He goes on to say, "Those three words have annoyed Alan Stern ever since. Stern, an associate vice president and scientist at Southwest Research Institute, was making plans at the time for what would become the New Horizons mission to Pluto, which launched in 2006."

According to Finley, "Now Stern, principal investigator of the mission, along with astronomer and artist Dan Durda, is trying to set the record straight. The scientists have designed a new stamp for Pluto, and they have launched a petition drive to get the post office to issue it when New Horizons reaches the dwarf planet in 2015."

"Pluto could probably use a boost to its self-esteem, " pens Finley. "It was downgraded from planet to “dwarf planet” in 2006. Even when it was a planet, it was the smallest and farthest from the sun. Its name was given to the only nonverbal life form in Mickey Mouse cartoons."

Shown here, the proposed design which was created by planetary scientist and astronomical illustrator Dan Durda for Astronomy magazine.

To read the entire article, click here.

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