In July 2005 the discovery of a Kuiper Belt object larger than Pluto was announced

In July 2005 the discovery of a Kuiper Belt object larger than Pluto was announced

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In July 2005 the discovery of a Kuiper Belt object larger than Pluto was announced, called Eris (formerly UB 313) . Is Eris the tenth planet? If Pluto is a planet, should not Eris be considered a planet too? How about Ceres in the asteroid belt ? Although the discovery of a Kuiper Belt object the size of Pluto or larger was considered likely, Eris' discovery finally forced astronomers to decide what is to be called a "planet" , what is a "minor planet", what is an "asteroid", "large comet", etc. (Note that recent measurements of Eris say that it is about the same diameter as Pluto but 20% larger in mass. It doesn't change the "planet" definition problem.) Even smaller objects (comets, most asteroids, etc.) will be called "Small Solar System Bodies". This does leave open the question of how this applies to planets outside the solar system, especially the truly planet-sized objects that are not bound to any star. Another controversial issue behind the IAU 2006 decision was the small proportion of members who voted on the
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This note was uploaded on 12/15/2011 for the course AST AST1002 taught by Professor Emilyhoward during the Fall '10 term at Broward College.

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In July 2005 the discovery of a Kuiper Belt object larger than Pluto was announced

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