Stories tagged 2003 UB313


Scientists using the Samuel Oschin Telescope at Palomar Observatory have discovered what they call a planet larger than Pluto in the far reaches of our solar system.

The planet, currently called 2003 UB313, is a trans-Neptunian object which means all or most if its orbit is beyond that of Neptune. The planet is a member of the Kuiper belt, which also claims Pluto and its satellite Charon as members.

A name for the new planet has been proposed by the scientists to the International Astronomical Union, but has not yet been approved until the IAU can determine the minimum size requirement for a planet.

Do you think 2003 UB313 is a planet? What would you name the 10th planet?

UPDATE: The "planet" has been named Eris. Turns out they have changed the rules for what defines a planet, and we now have only eight planets. Neither Eris or Pluto qualify under the new definitions a planet. To be a “planet” it must:

1. Orbit a sun.
2. Have sufficient mass so that it assumes a nearly round shape.
3. And have sufficient mass to have "cleared the neighborhood around its orbit".

Pluto has not cleared the neighborhood of its orbit of Kuiper Belt Objects, so it is no longer considered a planet.