Planet X!

Eris and Dysnomia

2003 UB313 has a name! Rather than go for the slighly kooky Xena (the provisional name given it by the astronomers who discovered it, thereby instantaneously confiming all publicly-held stereotypes about such astronomers) the IAU has gone with Eris, the Greek goddess of strife. It has a satellite (provisionally Gabrielle), now named Dysnomia after the daughter of said goddess. Not sure why they went with the Greek names instead of the Roman ones that they used for the other planets. Perhaps it’s a way of further distinguishing it as a ‘dwarf’ planet, as opposed to a ‘real’ planet.

Campaign to change Pluto to Hades?

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One Response to Planet X!

  1. Alun says:

    Yes, Eris is a ‘dwarf planet’ not a planet and so doesn’t require a Roman name. I think quotes go around the whole ‘dwarf planet’ desgination to indicate that the term is a placeholder rather than a type of planet.

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