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Latest Eris Stories

2008-09-19 17:02:55

Pluto and its dwarf planet brethren have a new friend. The International Astronomical Union (IAU) announced the name of a new dwarf planet to join the existing four in the solar system. The object previously known as 2003 EL61 is now named Haumea, after the goddess of childbirth and fertility in Hawaiian mythology. The name was decided by members of the International Astronomical Union's Committee on Small Body Nomenclature and the IAU Working Group for Planetary System...

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2008-07-21 10:00:00

According to the International Astronomical Union, a dwarf planet beyond Neptune has been given the name Makemake, and has been designated the third plutoid in the solar system. The red, methane-covered Makemake, formerly known as "Easterbunny" or 2005 FY9, is named after the Polynesian god of fertility and creator of humanity. Last month the International Astronomical Union, which names heavenly bodies, created a new rank of sub-planets called plutoids. The other two plutoids are Eris, and...

2008-06-20 16:40:40

NEW YORK -- Pluto was once a planet. Then, a dwarf planet. And as of last week, a plutoid. The fall from grace has teachers, parents and educational publishers struggling to keep up, while kids remain loyal to their favorite, the ninth planet. Underscore planet. Last week, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) announced Pluto should now be called a "plutoid," two years after the organization voted to demote Pluto to "dwarf planet" status. Meanwhile, many kids are nearly...

2008-06-14 13:27:08

Updated 6:35 p.m. ET Pluto's years-long identity crisis just got more complex today. The International Astronomical Union has decided on the term "plutoid" as a name for Pluto and other objects that just two years ago were redefined as "dwarf planets." The surprise decision is unlikely to stem ongoing controversy and confusion, astronomers say. Sidestepping concerns of many astronomers worldwide, the IAU's decision, at a meeting of its Executive Committee in Oslo, comes almost two years...

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2008-06-11 11:20:00

The International Astronomical Union has decided on the term plutoid as a name for dwarf planets like Pluto at a meeting of its Executive Committee in Oslo.Almost two years after the International Astronomical Union (IAU) General Assembly introduced the category of dwarf planets, the IAU, as promised, has decided on a name for transneptunian dwarf planets similar to Pluto. The name plutoid was proposed by the members of the IAU Committee on Small Body Nomenclature (CSBN), accepted by the...

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2007-06-14 13:00:00

NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has teamed up with the W.M. Keck Observatory to precisely measure the mass of Eris, the largest member of a new class of dwarf planets in our solar system. Eris is 1.27 times the mass of Pluto, formerly the largest member of the Kuiper Belt of icy objects beyond Neptune. Hubble observations in 2006 showed that Eris is slightly physically larger than Pluto. But the mass could only be calculated by observing the orbital motion of the moon Dysnomia around Eris....

2006-09-01 15:30:00

By Andy Sullivan WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Hundreds of U.S. scientists have challenged a recent decision by an international astronomy group to strip Pluto of its planetary status with a petition rejecting its definition of what constitutes a planet. The astronomical insurrection shows that debate is likely to continue over the status of the icy rock at the edge of the solar system that was considered the ninth planet until a vote last week by the International Astronomical Union. Petition...

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2006-08-26 04:54:05

If you woke up Thursday morning and sensed something was different about the world around you, you're absolutely right. Pluto is no longer a planet. The International Astronomical Union, wrapping up its meeting in Prague, Czech Republic, has resolved one of the most hotly-debated topics in the cosmos by approving a specific definition that gives our solar system eight planets, instead of the nine most of us grew up memorizing. NASA has already visited all eight planets that retain their...

2006-08-24 16:26:00

By Alan Crosby PRAGUE (Reuters) - Pluto was stripped of its status as a planet on Thursday when astronomers from around the world redefined it as a "dwarf planet," leaving just eight major planets in the solar system. With one vote, toys and models of the solar system became instantly obsolete, forcing teachers and publishers to scramble to update textbooks and lessons used in classrooms for decades. "Pluto is dead," Mike Brown of the California Institute of Technology bluntly told...

2006-08-24 13:30:14

By Alan Crosby PRAGUE (Reuters) - Pluto was stripped of its status as a planet on Thursday when astronomers from around the world redefined it as a "dwarf planet," leaving just eight major planets in the solar system. With one vote, toys and models of the solar system became instantly obsolete, forcing teachers and publishers to scramble to update textbooks and lessons used in classrooms for decades. "Pluto is dead," Mike Brown of the California Institute of Technology bluntly told...


Latest Eris Reference Libraries

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2004-10-19 04:45:41

Quaoar -- Quaoar ("kwah-oh-ahr", /kwA o Ar/) is a Trans-Neptunian object circling the Sun in the Kuiper belt, discovered in 2002 by astronomers Chad Trujillo and Mike Brown at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, California. Quaoar is estimated to have a diameter of about 1,280 kilometres, which would make it the largest Solar System object discovered since Pluto and, indeed, the largest known minor planet. Larger than all the asteroids put together, it is about one...

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2004-10-19 04:45:41

Planet Charon -- Charon is the only known satellite of Pluto. Charon was discovered by astronomer James Christy in 1978 using photographic plates which showed a bulge moving around Pluto. Christy named it after the Greek mythological figure Charon but pronounced it differently. The "ch" at the beginning of the moon's name is soft so it sounds like "Sharon," after the astronomer's wife Charlene, nicknamed Char, which both have soft ch sounds. The mythological figure's name is...

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2004-10-19 04:45:41

Planet Pluto -- Pluto is the ninth and smallest planet of our solar system. It was discovered by the astronomer Clyde Tombaugh at the Lowell Observatory in Arizona on February 18, 1930 (although the body was first photographed on March 19, 1915). Tombaugh was searching for a "Planet X" to explain the orbit of Neptune; further analysis, with seven decades more data about Neptune's position, has resolved the perceived anomaly without need for an additional gravitational pull on Neptune....

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Word of the Day
Cthulhu
  • A gigantic fictional humanoid alien god being described with a head resembling an octopus and dragon wings and claws, around whom an insane cult developed.
  • Pertaining to the mythos of Cthulhu and additional otherworldly beings created by H. P. Lovecraft or inspired by his writings and imitators.
This word was invented in 1926 by H.P. Lovecraft for his short story, 'The Call of Cthulhu.' 'Cthulhu' may be based on the word 'chthonic,' which in Greek mythology refers to the underworld.
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