Keyword: kbo

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  • New clues in search for Planet Nine

    07/05/2016 6:11:20 PM PDT · by MtnClimber · 30 replies
    Science News ^ | 5 Jul, 2016 | CHRISTOPHER CROCKETT
    More clues about where to search for a possible ninth planet lurking in the fringes of our solar system are emerging from the Kuiper belt, the icy debris field beyond Neptune. And new calculations suggest that the putative planet might be brighter — and a bit easier to find — than once thought. Evidence for the existence of Planet Nine is scant, based on apparent alignments among the orbits of the six most distant denizens of the Kuiper belt (SN: 2/20/16, p. 6). Their oval orbits all point in roughly the same direction and lie in about the same plane,...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Pluto at Night

    06/09/2016 2:44:32 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 13 replies
    NASA ^ | Thursday, June 09, 2016 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: The night side of Pluto spans this shadowy scene. The spacebased view with the Sun behind the distant world was captured by New Horizons last July. The spacecraft was at a range of over 21,000 kilometers, about 19 minutes after its closest approach. A denizen of the Kuiper Belt in dramatic silhouette, the image also reveals Pluto's tenuous, surprisingly complex layers of hazy atmosphere. The crescent twilight landscape near the top of the frame includes southern areas of nitrogen ice plains informally known as Sputnik Planum and rugged mountains of water-ice in the Norgay Montes.
  • Stolen World: 'Planet 9' Likely Came from Another Star

    06/02/2016 7:40:16 AM PDT · by MtnClimber · 44 replies ^ | 1 Jun, 2016 | Mike Wall
    There may be an alien planet lurking within Earth's own solar system. If the hypothetical Planet Nine does indeed exist, the sun probably ripped the world away from another star long ago, a new study suggests. "It is almost ironic that while astronomers often find exoplanets hundreds of light-years away in other solar systems, there's probably one hiding in our own backyard," study lead author Alexander Mustill, an astronomer at Lund University in Sweden, said in a statement. [The Evidence for Planet Nine in Pictures]. Earlier this year, astronomers Konstantin Batygin and Mike Brown, both of the California Institute of...
  • New Horizons sets sights on its next target, a mysterious object at solar system's edge

    05/06/2016 6:37:23 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 10 replies
    Known as 2014 MU69, the object is thought to be unchanged since the birth of the solar system 4.6 billion years ago.... ... Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel submitted plans last month to NASA to fly past the relatively tiny chunk of icy matter on New Year's Day 2019. If NASA approves it, the extended New Horizon mission could give a close-up view of what has so far only appeared to scientists as a faint dot of light. ... The object is in a 300-year orbit around the sun in the Kuiper Belt, a region of space beyond...
  • Scientists just found more evidence that Planet Nine exists in our Solar System

    03/29/2016 8:09:38 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 48 replies ^ | 29 MAR 2016 | Bec Crew
    And this new planet could be huge. Back in January, the astronomer who led the charge to have Pluto demoted to dwarf planet status announced that he’d just found evidence that a huge, icy planet could be lurking on the edge of the Solar System, just past Neptune. Mike Brown, a planetary astronomer at Caltech University, estimated that the hypothetical 'Planet Nine' appears to be circling the Sun on a super-elongated orbit that takes an incredible 10,000 to 20,000 years to complete. And now, thanks to a newly detected Kuiper Belt Object (KBO) that’s acting really strange, Brown says the...
  • What is the Oort Cloud?

    08/10/2015 4:36:14 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 25 replies
    Universe Today ^ | Matt Williams
    The Oort Cloud is a theoretical spherical cloud of predominantly icy planetesimals that is believed to surround the Sun at a distance of up to around 100,000 AU (2 ly). This places it in interstellar space, beyond the Sun’s Heliosphere where it defines the cosmological boundary between the Solar System and the region of the Sun’s gravitational dominance. Like the Kuiper Belt and the Scattered Disc, the Oort Cloud is a reservoirs of trans-Neptunian objects, though it is over a thousands times more distant from our Sun as these other two. The idea of a cloud of icy infinitesimals was...
  • Stealing Sedna

    08/06/2015 11:25:26 AM PDT · by BenLurkin · 9 replies
    Universe Today ^ | David Dickinson
    From the start, Sedna was an odd-ball. Its 11,400 year orbit takes it from a perihelion of 76 astronomical units (for context, Neptune is an average of 30 AUs from the Sun) to an amazing 936 AUs from the Sun. (A thousand AUs is 1.6% of a light year, and 0.4% of the way to Proxima Centauri, the closest star to our solar system). Currently at a distance of 86 AU and headed towards perihelion in 2076, we’re lucky we caught Sedna as it ‘neared’ (we use the term ‘near’ loosely in this case!) the Sun. But this strange path...
  • We're Pumped Up About Visiting Pluto After Seeing This NASA Video

    06/13/2015 7:28:00 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 29 replies
    Popular Science TV ^ | June 12th, 2015 | Sarah Fecht
    In July, New Horizons crosses the next great frontier in our solar system. Mankind is about to visit one of the strangest places in our solar system. Out beyond Neptune, the Kuiper belt is home to hordes of cold, lumpy worlds -- some of which are large enough to have their own moons, but none of which we've seen up-close before. That's going to change this summer, when NASA's New Horizons spacecraft flies by "the king of the Kuiper belt": Pluto. It's no longer considered a planet, but Pluto is still an important member of our solar system, and one...
  • On the Fringe: Astronomers look to the Kuiper belt for clues to the solar system's history

    01/14/2010 3:15:11 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 12 replies · 732+ views
    Science News ^ | January 16th, 2010 | Ron Cowen
    Beyond Neptune lies a reservoir of... icy debris left to roam the solar system's dim outer limits having never coalesced into planets... Named for astronomer Gerard Kuiper, who in 1951 predicted the existence of this 3-billion-kilometer-wide swath of icy chunks, the Kuiper belt didn't begin to reveal itself to observers until 1992. Since then, researchers have found more than a thousand bodies filling a doughnut-shaped belt, which extends 30 to about 50 astronomical units from the sun. One astronomical unit is the average distance between the Earth and sun... The puffed-up, elongated orbits and present-day sparseness of the belt all...
  • Rosetta Instrument Reignites Debate on Earth's Oceans

    12/11/2014 2:15:28 AM PST · by iowamark · 27 replies
    NASA ^ | 12/10/14
    The question about the origin of oceans on Earth is one of the most important questions with respect to the formation of our planet and the origin of life. The most popular theory is that water was brought by impacts of comets and asteroids. Data from the Rosetta Orbiter Spectrometer for Ion and Neutral Analysis (ROSINA) instrument aboard the European Space Agency’s Rosetta spacecraft indicate that terrestrial water did not come from comets like 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. The findings were published today in the journal Science. Researchers agree that water must have been delivered to Earth by small bodies at a later...
  • Three New "Plutos"? Possible Dwarf Planets Found

    08/16/2011 12:47:34 PM PDT · by Red Badger · 21 replies ^ | Published August 11, 2011 | Rachel Kaufman
    Small objects could be rounded worlds, based on likely sizes, experts say. Three relatively bright space rocks recently found in Pluto's neighborhood may be new members of the dwarf planet family, astronomers say. The objects were discovered in a little studied section of the Kuiper belt, a region of the solar system that starts beyond the orbit of Neptune and extends 5.1 billion miles (8.2 billion kilometers) from the sun. Astronomer Scott Sheppard, of the Carnegie Institute of Washington, and colleagues found the bodies using the 1.3-meter Warsaw University Telescope at Las Campanas in Chile. The region of the Kuiper...
  • An Unknown Planet Orbits in the Outer Solar System

    08/05/2007 6:22:36 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 58 replies · 1,200+ views
    A theory is hereby proposed that an unknown mega-massive planet has, for billions of years, been orbiting at 77.2 AU from the sun -- within a 44 AU-wide, virtually empty Great Void that surrounds the Kuiper Belt (One AU = 93 million miles, the mean Earth-Sun distance). The Void is postulated to have been formed by strong gravitational attraction of the unknown planet having removed all CKBOs (Classical Kuiper Belt Objects) that had existed previously in the vicinity of the massive planet's huge orbit... The 77.2 AU distance from the sun of the proposed unknown planet is derived from a...
  • Dwarf planet discovery hints at a hidden Super Earth in solar system

    03/29/2014 1:03:08 AM PDT · by chessplayer · 48 replies
    Astronomers have increased the size of the observable solar system after spotting a 450-km wide object orbiting the sun. The lump of ice and rock circles the sun at a greater distance than any known object, and never gets closer than 12bn kilometres – 80 times the distance from Earth to the sun. If its size is confirmed it could qualify as a dwarf planet in the same category as Pluto. Though exciting in its own right, the discovery raises a more tantalising prospect for many astronomers: that a "Super Earth" up to 10 times the mass of our planet...
  • Scientists Nickname Planet-Like Object 'Biden'

    03/27/2014 1:16:15 PM PDT · by bestintxas · 56 replies
    newsmax ^ | 3/27/14 | c coren
    It's official name is "2012 VP-113." But astronomers have nicknamed the newly discovered planet-like object on the edge of the solar system "Biden." Smiling Joe, nick-named for Vice President Joe Biden, is 7 billion miles away from the sun and has its own celestial body, The Washington Post reported. Biden is quite small at 280 miles in diameter, and scientists say it could be dwarf planet. Pluto, which was deemed a dwarf planet in 2006 has a diameter of 1,430 miles. By contrast, Earth is 7,900 miles across. It has a temperature of minus 430 degrees Fahrenheit and is likely...
  • New planet nicknamed after Biden

    03/26/2014 10:15:21 PM PDT · by 2ndDivisionVet · 41 replies
    The Hill's Briefing Room ^ | March 26, 2014 | Justin Sink
    Astronomers have nicknamed a new dwarf planet circling the sun at the outer edges of the solar system after Vice President Joe Biden. According to Nature, a leading scientific journal, the object's official designation is 2012 VP113. But the team studying its orbit around the sun colloquially refer to the planet as just "VP" or "Biden," after the sitting vice president. The object won't carry an official title until scientists collect more data. After determining its orbit, they'll submit a formal name to the International Astronomical Union (IAU) for consideration. The Biden dwarf is the second such object to be...
  • A planet past Pluto? Astronomers redefine the solar system's edge

    03/26/2014 1:03:22 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 53 replies ^ | March 26, 2014/
    Scientists at the Carnegie Carnegie Institution for Science announced Wednesday the discovery of a new cosmic neighbor -- a distant dwarf planet named 2012 VP113 that was found spinning in the depths of space well past Pluto. Its existence suggests there may be another actual planet out there, they said, a rogue giant ten times bigger than Earth orbiting in the distant blackness
  • Newfound pink world lurks at solar system fringes

    03/26/2014 12:06:45 PM PDT · by Red Badger · 45 replies ^ | 03-26-2014 | By ALICIA CHANG
    <p>LOS ANGELES (AP) — Peering into the far reaches of the solar system, astronomers have spied a pink frozen world 7½ billion miles from the sun.</p> <p>It's the second such object to be discovered in a region of space beyond Pluto long considered a celestial wasteland. Until now, the lone known resident in this part of the solar system was an oddball dwarf planet spotted in 2003 named Sedna after the mythological Inuit goddess who created the sea creatures of the Arctic.</p>
  • Media Advisory: Press Conference in Brazil to Announce Discovery in Outer Solar System

    03/26/2014 7:59:37 AM PDT · by SpinnerWebb · 92 replies
    European Southern Observatory ^ | 25 March 2014 | ann14021
    An international team of astronomers, led by Felipe Braga-Ribas (Observatório Nacional/MCTI, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), has used telescopes at seven locations in South America, including the 1.54-metre Danish and TRAPPIST telescopes at ESO’s La Silla Observatory in Chile, to make a surprise discovery in the outer Solar System. This unexpected result raises several unanswered questions and is expected to provoke much debate. A press conference will be held in Brazil to present the new results and allow opportunities for questions. Note that all information regarding these findings is under strict embargo until 19:00 CET (15:00 BRT) on Wednesday 26 March...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- 2012 VP113: A New Furthest Known Orbit in the Solar System

    04/01/2014 5:37:49 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 15 replies
    NASA ^ | March 31, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: What object has the furthest known orbit in our Solar System? In terms of how close it will ever get to the Sun, the new answer is 2012 VP113, an object currently over twice the distance of Pluto from the Sun. Pictured above is a series of discovery images taken with the Dark Energy Camera attached to the NOAO's Blanco 4-meter Telescope in Chile in 2012 and released last week. The distant object, seen moving on the lower right, is thought to be a dwarf planet like Pluto. Previously, the furthest known dwarf planet was Sedna, discovered in 2003....
  • The Obama Legacy in Planetary Exploration

    01/06/2014 9:19:21 AM PST · by Farnsworth · 28 replies ^ | January 04, 2014 | Mark V. Sykes
    It is frustrating, at a time when other nations are in ascendancy in space, that the administration of U.S. President Barack Obama seems committed to undermining the nation's own solar system exploration program. The Obama administration cut NASA's planetary-sciences budget by 20 percent in 2013. It has taken the National Research Council's (NRC) recommendations for prioritizing planetary investments in bad economic times and turned those recommendations upside down. The administration continues to favor large, directed projects at the expense of programs and missions that are openly competed.
  • Comets may be spawned when mum breaks up [circling the wagons cont'd]

    07/27/2008 9:57:14 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 4 replies · 159+ views
    New Scientist ^ | Saturday, July 26, 2008 | David Shiga
    Are comets born in great swarms? The puzzling abundance of comets in short solar orbits has led a pair of astronomers to suggest that they are fragments of larger bodies that crumbled as they entered the inner solar system. Short-period comets take less than 200 years to circle the sun and are thought to originate in the Kuiper belt of icy objects beyond Neptune. Some Kuiper-belt objects (KBOs) are in vulnerable orbits that allow the gravity of the outer planets to tug them inwards, where the sun's heat turns them into comets. However, there seem to be too few KBOs...
  • A FOCAL Mission into the Oort Cloud

    11/15/2010 1:22:29 PM PST · by LibWhacker · 8 replies
    Centauri Dreams ^ | 11/15/10 | Paul Gilster
    A FOCAL Mission into the Oort Cloud by Paul Gilster on November 15, 2010 After all this time, IÂ’m still trying to wrap my head around the idea of massive objects in space as lenses, their distortion of spacetime offering the ability to see distant objects at huge magnification. On Friday we saw how the lensing effect caused by galactic clusters can be used to study dark energy. And consider the early results from the Herschel-ATLAS project, conducted by ESAÂ’s Herschel Space Observatory. Herschel is scanning large areas of the sky in far-infrared and sub-millimeter light. Many of its...
  • A Sparsely Populated Kuiper Belt?

    10/06/2008 3:22:01 PM PDT · by LibWhacker · 4 replies · 316+ views
    The transit method — observing a distant planet as it moves in front of its star as seen from Earth — is a prime tool for exoplanet detection. But transits are hardly limited to planets around their primaries. The Taiwanese-American Occultation Survey (TAOS) is demonstration of that, an attempt to find tiny Kuiper Belt objects (KBOs) in the range between 0.5 and 28 kilometers. As you would imagine, at a distance like this such objects cannot be seen directly, but an occultation — the dimming of a star when one of the KBOs passes in front of it —...
  • Outer Solar System Not as Crowded as Astronomers Thought

    10/03/2008 6:21:38 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 13 replies · 482+ views
    PyssOrg ^ | Friday, October 3, 2008 | Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
    the Taiwanese-American Occultation Survey (TAOS), spent two years periodically photographing portions of the sky to look for small chunks of rock and ice orbiting beyond Neptune, in a region of the solar system called the Kuiper Belt. The survey targeted Kuiper Belt objects (KBOs) with sizes between 2 miles (3 km) and 17 miles (28 km). Since such objects are too small to see directly, the survey watched for stars to dim as KBOs passed in front of and occulted them. After accumulating more than 200 hours of data watching for stellar flickers lasting a second or less, TAOS did...
  • Pluto's Little Sister Found?

    01/26/2010 7:20:21 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 7 replies · 417+ views
    Discovery News ^ | Monday, January 25, 2010 | Irene Klotz
    ...a tiny, icy toehold just one-third of a mile wide. The discovery, made by a team of astronomers scouring Hubble Space Telescope observations, sets a new record for the smallest Kuiper Belt object found. Previously, the smallest known Pluto sibling was a 30-mile-wide Kuiper Belt object... Based on the number of known objects in the Kuiper Belt, scientists would have expected to find between 30 and 100 tiny bodies in their analysis of 50,000 guide stars observed by Hubble. So far, the team has only looked at 30 percent of the available Hubble data. "We only found one," Schlichting said....
  • A ghost of Christmas past [ Kuiper Belt Object 2009 YE7 discovered ]

    01/03/2010 7:26:46 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 7 replies · 682+ views
    Mike Brown's Planets 'blog ^ | Tuesday, December 29, 2009 | Mike Brown
    Our understanding of the Kuiper belt has changed dramatically in these past five years. The best example of this change comes, I think, from the discovery of a large Kuiper belt object that was announced just a few days ago... But, by decoding the numbers, I could tell it was something that had just been discovered a few days before. Like anyone else, my first attempt to know more was a quick trip to Google. Ah ha! A new large Kuiper belt object found from a telescope Chile, by David Rabinowitz! Yes, the same David Rabinowitz from the Haumea discovery....
  • Did Pluto Take a Punch? [from 2003]

    05/12/2008 9:30:55 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 14 replies · 137+ views
    Sky & Telescope ^ | July 23, 2003 | Govert Schilling
    If David J. Tholen (University of Hawaii) is right, Pluto was probably hit by a small Kuiper Belt object in the not-too-distant past. One consequence of that collision, he argues, is seen in the planet's motion -- Pluto and its satellite Charon now waltz around each other in slightly out-of-round orbits. And since tidal forces in the tight planet-moon system should damp out any deviations from purly circular orbits within 10 million years or so, the impact must have occurred relatively recently. "It could have happened a century ago," Tholen says... Tholen and Marc W. Buie (Lowell Observatory)... found an...
  • The Search for Distant Objects in the Solar System Using Spacewatch

    03/12/2007 11:38:09 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 5 replies · 245+ views
    Astronomical Journal ^ | volume 133 (2007) | Jeffrey A. Larsen et al
    We have completed a low-inclination ecliptic survey for distant and slow-moving bright objects in the outer solar system. This survey used data taken over 34 months by the University of Arizona's Spacewatch Project based at Steward Observatory, Kitt Peak. Spacewatch revisits the same sky area every three to seven nights in order to track cohorts of main-belt asteroids. This survey used a multiple-night detection scheme to extend our rate sensitivity to as low as 0.012 arcsec hr-1. When combined with our plate scale and flux sensitivity (V21), this survey was sensitive to Mars-sized objects out to 300 AU and Jupiter-sized...
  • Experts' vote could mean demotion for Pluto

    08/13/2006 5:58:09 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 47 replies · 377+ views
    Rocky Mountain News ^ | August 12, 2006 | Jim Erickson
    News leaks about the planet definition began to spout late this week, as the authors prepared to present a draft resolution to the IAU's executive committee Sunday in Prague. The IAU is the official arbiter of all issues related to astronomical nomenclature. In a story that aired Thursday, unnamed sources told National Public Radio the proposed definition would include Pluto in a new class of small planets. A source also told the Rocky Mountain News on Thursday that a member of the seven-person definition panel said Pluto will remain a planet. IAU Vice President Bob Williams described the reports as...
  • 2012: the piano-sized ‘New Horizons’ probe of NASA nears Pluto (will it find ET there?)

    01/10/2006 8:29:19 AM PST · by presidio9 · 28 replies · 727+ views
    India Daily ^ | Jan. 6, 2006
    Something spectacular may happen in 2012. New Horizons, a NASA space craft with a probe will travel at 26,700mph over four billion miles to Pluto. It will be in close proximity of Pluto by 2012. New Horizons probe will travel faster than any previous spacecraft on its journey to the planet farthest from the Sun, its moon Charon and the mysterious, icy Kuiper Belt. Relatively little is known about the ninth planet Pluto. It is an unknown zone of the solar system. Many scientists have started believing that Pluto will surprise all in the earth by 2012. There are fair...
  • Rethinking the Planets

    12/28/2005 2:36:18 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 35 replies · 678+ views
    Popular Science ^ | January 2006 issue (I believe) | Michael Stroh
    One leading proposal would define a planet as any object whose diameter exceeds 2,000 kilometers and that is round as a result of gravity, criteria that would encompass anything Pluto-size or larger, including Xena. But that doesn't sit well with some astronomers, who are irked that the scrawny iceball with the cockeyed orbit earned membership into the club in the first place. "Pluto is an impostor," says Harvard astronomer Brian Marsden, a member of the IAU committee. "The simplest thing is to get rid of it and say we've got eight."
  • Pluto Has Three Moons, Hubble Images Show

    10/31/2005 6:22:32 PM PST · by NormsRevenge · 101 replies · 1,880+ views
    ap on Yahoo ^ | 10/31/05 | Alex Dominguez - ap
    BALTIMORE - Pluto has three moons, not one, new images from the Hubble Space Telescope suggest. Pluto, discovered as the ninth planet in 1930, was thought to be alone until its moon Charon was spotted in 1978. The new moons, more than twice as far away as Charon and many times fainter, were spotted by Hubble in May. While the observations have to be confirmed, members of the team that discovered the satellites said Monday they felt confident about their data. "Pluto and Charon are not alone, they have two neighbors," said Hal Weaver of the Johns Hopkins University Applied...
  • 10 Planets? Why Not 11?

    08/23/2005 4:39:11 PM PDT · by neverdem · 38 replies · 1,939+ views
    NY Times ^ | August 23, 2005 | KENNETH CHANG
    PASADENA, Calif. - Between feedings and diaper changes of his newborn daughter, Michael E. Brown may yet find an 11th planet. Once conducted almost exclusively on cold, lonely nights, observational astronomy these days is often done under bright California sunshine. When he has a few spare minutes, Dr. Brown, a professor of planetary astronomy at the California Institute of Technology, downloads images taken during a previous night by a robotically driven telescope at Palomar Observatory 100 miles away. Each night, the telescope scans a different swath of sky, photographing each patch three times, spaced an hour and a half apart....
  • Pluto Could Lose Planet Status

    06/22/2006 4:11:12 AM PDT · by PatrickHenry · 177 replies · 3,351+ views ^ | 21 June 2006 | Staff
    At its conference this August, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) will make a decision that could see Pluto lose its status as a planet. For the first time, the organisation will be officially defining the word "planet", and it is causing much debate in the world of astronomy. There is only one thing that everyone seems to agree on: there are no longer nine planets in the Solar System. The debate has been brought to a head by the discovery of a potential 10th planet, temporarily named 2003 UB313 in January 2005. This new candidate planet is bigger than Pluto....
  • Pluto Might Have Rings

    02/23/2006 10:16:50 AM PST · by nickcarraway · 22 replies · 579+ views ^ | 22 February 2006 | Ker Than
    The two moons discovered around Pluto last year were likely formed from the same giant impact that created the planet’s much larger satellite, Charon, scientists say. The idea suggests that other Kuiper Belt Objects might also harbor multiple satellites and raises the possibility that Pluto is encircled by rings fashioned from debris ejected from the surface of the tiny moons. The two moons, called P1 and P2 for now, were discovered in May 2005 using the Hubble Space Telescope. Scientists now think the two moons are roughly 37 and 31 miles (60 and 50 km) in diameter. Charon has an...
  • Out Beyond Pluto, Astronomers Find Something New

    10/07/2002 1:47:30 PM PDT · by Willie Green · 25 replies · 306+ views
    Reuters ^ | October 07, 2002 | Deborah Zabarenko
    For education and discussion only. Not for commercial use. WASHINGTON (Reuters) - It's the biggest thing found orbiting the sun since astronomers discovered Pluto in 1930, but please do not call it a planet. Call it Quaoar. At half the size of Pluto, Quaoar -- pronounced KWAH-o-ar -- is a large celestial object, but not large enough to be a planet, one of its discoverers said in a telephone interview. Quaoar's discovery also calls Pluto's planet status into question, said Mike Brown of the California Institute of Technology, who first detected the object on June 4. His findings were presented...
  • Scientists discover moon orbiting so-called 10th planet (nicknamed 'Xena')

    10/01/2005 5:10:46 PM PDT · by NormsRevenge · 34 replies · 1,190+ views
    ap on Monterey Herald ^ | 10/1/05 | Alicia Chang - ap
    LOS ANGELES - The astronomers who claim to have discovered the 10th planet in the solar system have made another intriguing announcement: it has a moon. While observing the new, so-called planet from Hawaii last month, a team of astronomers led by Michael Brown of the California Institute of Technology spotted a faint object trailing next to it. Because it was moving, astronomers ruled it was a moon and not a background star, which is stationary. The moon discovery is important because it can help scientists determine the new planet's mass. In July, Brown announced the discovery of an icy,...