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Kidman and Urban? | Main | Wedding Bells


August 01, 2005

10th Planet?


Astronomers announced Friday that an object they discovered in the distant reaches of the solar system is large enough to be the 10th planet -- a claim likely to reignite a debate over just how many objects should be called planets.

The object -- 96 times as far from the Earth as the Earth is from the sun, or nearly 9 billion miles away -- was first photographed in October 2003 by astronomers at the California Institute of Technology's Palomar Observatory, north of San Diego.

While researchers say they aren't yet sure of its actual size, they have determined the object is bigger than Pluto, the smallest planet and the one most distant from the sun.

"If Pluto is a planet, it seems reasonable that something that's bigger than Pluto, and further away than Pluto, should be called a planet, too," said Mike Brown, a Cal Tech planetary scientist who made the discovery with colleagues Chad Trujillo of the Gemini Observatory and David Rabinowitz of Yale University.


Posted by Lawren at August 1, 2005 07:21 AM | Trackbacks (0)

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