Wednesday, March 13


My friend Ellie arrived this week for an adventure.

When I asked her what she was interested in doing, she said anything with space, planets, and telescopes.

She wanted to immediately launch into space but I told her, "Patience, my Padawan."

Let's start with some basics - which is easy since there are two powerful telescopes in Arizona: Kitt and Lowell.

My favorite? Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Ariz.

Lowell Observatory was founded in 1894, making it one of the oldest observatories in the United States.

In 1906, Percival Lowell, a wealthy Bostonian who had founded the Lowell Observatory, started an extensive search for a possible ninth planet, which he called, "Planet X."

It was there that Clyde Tombaugh discovered the dwarf planet Pluto on Feb. 18, 1930 using the 13-inch Pluto Discovery Telescope.

Ellie said she wanted to see that so off we went. She was so excited I was afraid she'd push Tombaugh out of the way!

Known for years as a planet, poor Pluto was downgraded to dwarf planet status in 2006.

(Momma likes to say that when she was my age Pluto was a planet.)

New Mexico's House of Representatives passed a resolution in honor of Tombaugh, a longtime resident of that state, which declared that Pluto will always be considered a planet while in New Mexican skies and that March 13, 2007 was Pluto Planet Day.

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