Tag Archives: dwarf planet

Why Pluto Really Shouldn’t be a Planet

(But the IAU is Wrong, Too.) In 2006, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) voted that Pluto was not a planet, just months after the New Horizons spacecraft was launched with a mission to…visit the last planet that had never been … Continue reading

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Breaking News: Pluto is the Largest Dwarf Planet!

At this writing, the New Horizons spacecraft is only hours away from its closest approach to Pluto. Except in the unlikely event that it crashes into something (*knocks on wood*) or the more likely event that its computer crashes (*knocks … Continue reading

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Dwarf planets and the problem of the IAU

What is a dwarf planet? Under the definition accepted by the International Astronomical Union (IAU), a dwarf planet is any object orbiting the Sun that is large enough to become round under its own gravity, but is not large enough … Continue reading

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2012 VP113: a weird new “dwarf planet”

Astronomers Chad Trujillo and Scott Sheppard announced this week the discovery of a new icy world in the outer Solar System, named 2012 VP113. Trujillo is a colleague of Mike Brown, who discovered the dwarf planet Eris, which is larger … Continue reading

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