IAU names dwarf planet Eris

September 14, 2006

The International Astronomical Union announces the names Eris for the dwarf planet provisionally named 2003 UB 313 and Dysnomia for its moon.

Thedwarf planet formerly known as 2003 UB 313 received the official designation (136199) Eris, or Eris in short, from the International Astronomical Union on 13 th September 2006. The name was accepted almost unanimously by the Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature (WGPSN) and the Committee for Small Body Nomenclature (CSBN).

Eris is the second dwarf planet in a sub category of objects of which Pluto is the prototype. The name Eris was proposed by one of the discoverers, Michael Brown ( Caltech, USA). Eris was discovered on 5 th January 2005 by M. E. Brown, C. A. Trujillo, and D. Rabinowitz at the Palomar Observatory.

Eris is a the Greek goddess of discord and strife. She stirs up jealousy and envy to cause fighting and anger among men. At the wedding of Peleus and Thetis, the parents of the Greek hero Achilles, all the gods with the exception of Eris were invited, and, enraged at her exclusion, she spitefully caused a quarrel among the goddesses that led to the Trojan war.

Eris’ moon, formerly known as S/2005 (2003 UB 313) 1 and now known technically as Eris I, has been named Dysnomia. Dysnomia is the Daimon spirit of lawlessness. She is the daughter of Eris, goddess of chaos and strife, and the counterpart to Eunomia who puts an end to the anger of grievous strife. The name Dysnomia was accepted unanimously by the members of the WGPSN. The name was proposed by Mike Brown, a member of the discovery team.

The new designations have been approved by the IAU Division III Organizing Committee and by the IAU Officers.


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