Wednesday, February 01, 2006

New Planet(?) Larger than Pluto?

German astrophysicists have concluded a space body located in the outer reaches of the solar system is 435 miles (700 kilometers) larger than Pluto, the smallest planet.

Their research puts more pressure on the International Astronomical Union (IAU) to classify the object as the 10th planet in our solar system.

"UB313 is decidedly larger than Pluto," said University of Bonn Professor Frank Bertoldi, whose team's findings will be published in Thursday's journal Nature.

The object, tentatively named 2003 UB313, is an icy body that lies beyond the planet Neptune.

2003 UB313 was first photographed in October 2003 by astronomers at the California Institute of Technology's Palomar Observatory, north of San Diego. Astronomers announced last summer that it was large enough to be a planet and was likely much larger than Pluto.


Read the rest here.

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