More space objects are discovered

Sep 09, 2005

Three astronomers who in July discovered the solar system's "10th planet" this week announced finding two more objects far beyond the orbit of Pluto.

The three objects -- temporarily named Xena, Santa and Easterbunny -- are among the largest objects discovered in the Kuiper Belt, an area at the very edge of the solar system, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Friday.

The astronomers are Michael Brown of the California Institute of Technology, Chadwick Trujillo of the University of Hawaii and David Rabinovitz of Yale University. Trujillo and Rabinovitz are discussing their findings this week at a planetary conference in Cambridge, England.

In an interview with the Chronicle, Brown said while Pluto is nearly 3 billion miles from Earth, Easterbunny and Santa are nearly 5 billion miles away and Xena is about 9 billion miles distant.

"Santa is crazy, and it's my favorite -- by far the weirdest of the three," Brown told the Chronicle. "It is ... shaped like a huge cigar, and it rotates end-over-end every four hours."

The International Astronomical Union will ultimately determine what to officially name the objects.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

Explore further: Orion rocks: Pebble-size particles may jump-start planet formation

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Length of exoplanet day measured for first time

Apr 30, 2014

Observations from ESO's Very Large Telescope have, for the first time, determined the rotation rate of an exoplanet. Beta Pictoris b has been found to have a day that lasts eight hours. This is quicker than ...

Impact glass stores biodata for millions of years

Apr 18, 2014

(Phys.org) —Bits of plant life encapsulated in molten glass by asteroid and comet impacts millions of years ago give geologists information about climate and life forms on the ancient Earth. Scientists ...

Smartphone trial judge annoyed by phones in court

Apr 09, 2014

So far one of the biggest problems for the federal judge overseeing a patent battle between the world's largest smartphone makers isn't about stolen ideas. It's getting the roomful of smartphone devotees ...

Recommended for you

Light of life

2 hours ago

A fluorescent microscopic view of cells from a type of bone cancer, being studied for a future trip to deep space – aiming to sharpen our understanding of the hazardous radiation prevailing out there.

Evidence for supernovas near Earth

5 hours ago

Once every 50 years, more or less, a massive star explodes somewhere in the Milky Way. The resulting blast is terrifyingly powerful, pumping out more energy in a split second than the sun emits in a million ...

User comments : 0