Tag Archives: pluto

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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Rise of the mini-planets

I’ve said before that when looking for planets, we must expect the unexpected. NASA’s latest discovery, Kepler-37b, was not unexpected, but it raises interesting questions nonetheless. Kepler-37b is a hot, rocky planet, but it’s not a super-Earth, because it’s smaller … Continue reading

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