134340 Pluto

It seems that the IAU (International Astronomical Union has added insult to injury. Yesterday IAU’s Minor Planet Center published Circular no. 8747: (134340) Pluto, (136199) Eris, and (136199) Eris I (Dysnomia). Because Pluto is no longer a planet it has been assigned a number, just like any common asteroid. Poor thing. But really, will anyone actually stop calling it Pluto?

Pluto‘s satellites Charon (although in some circles, Pluto and Charon are considered binaries), Nix, and Hydra will now be considered 134340 I, II and III respectively.

136199 was upset that Pluto was given a number, so they decided to give it a name: Eris (previously 2003 UB313). Its companion was given the (somewhat less original) name Eris I but wasn’t happy with that so will be more commonly called Dysnomia (previously S/2005 (2003 UB313) 1).

I have been getting a lot of search engine referrals relating to the removal of Pluto from the class of planets that suggests some are confused with the reasons. I have updated my post: Pluto is not a Planet to help clear up the reasons. So check that out if you are still confused… or just ask me.

Categories: Science

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