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30 July 2005


First of all, everyone who says Pluto is NOT a planet can just bite me. Clyde Tombaugh discovered it, it revolves around Sol, our Sun, it's spherical more or less, it's solid -- so what's the problem? Pluto is the Ninth Planet.

So this new one is the Tenth Planet.

1. Mercury
2. Venus
3. Earth
4. Mars
5. Jupiter
6. Saturn
7. Uranus
8. Neptune
9. Pluto
10. Xena or Lila or

Okay okay ... first of all, temporarily, the discoverers have been calling this new planet "Xena." According to The New York Times:

Dr. [Mike] Brown [of California Institute of Technology] said they had a name they have proposed for the planet, but did not want to disclose it until it had been formally approved by the International Astronomical Union. "We have a name we really like, and we want it to stick," he said.

Informally, the astronomers have been calling it Xena after the television series about a Greek warrior princess, which was popular when the astronomers began their systematic sweep of the sky in 2000. "Because we always wanted to name something Xena," Dr. Brown said.

But Dr. Mike Brown's Website seems to be calling his team's new planet "Lila." Click on his site to see 3 photos of the tiny star-like dot which is Xena or Lila or 2003UB313.

For scientific reasons, we have posted a photo of Xena, Warrior Princess. We don't know who Lila is, and we don't have her photo.

The Mount Palomar Observatory in Southern California is the observatory where Edwin Hubble spent his career. Hubble discovered that Nebulae (fuzzy objects in the night sky) are Galaxies just like our Melkweg or Dwingeloo-2 or Dwingeloo-1. And he also discovered that The Universe Is Expanding.

from Dr. Mike Brown's Website:

Astronomers at
Palomar Observatory

Discover a 10th Planet
Beyond Pluto

The planet, with the current temporary name 2003UB313, was discovered in an ongoing survey at Palomar Observatory's Samuel Oschin telescope by astronomers Mike Brown (Caltech), Chad Trujillo (Gemini Observatory), and David Rabinowitz (Yale University). We have proposed a name to the IAU and will announce it when that name is accepted.

It is bigger than Pluto!!!

Usually when we find these we don't know their size for certain, only lower limits. The lower limit to this object is the size of Pluto. This object is at least the size of Pluto and likely a bit larger.

Check back for more information as we post it over the weekend.

Note that this object is NOT 2003EL61, announced yesterday by Jose Ortiz.


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