PDA

View Full Version : Scientists Discover 10th Planet's Moon


Oerdin
02-10-2005, 05:24:41
Well, I'm sure there are a lot of items at the edge of the solar system which might be considered planets it is interesting that this new planet Xena is larger then pluto and has a moon. Personally, I'd rule that pluto isn't really a planet due to its small size and strange orbit. Instead both Pluto and Xena look like really big asteroids. Still, interesting stuff.


LOS ANGELES - The astronomers who claim to have discovered the 10th planet in the solar system have another intriguing announcement: It has a moon.

While observing the new, so-called planet from Hawaii last month, a team of astronomers led by Michael Brown of the California Institute of Technology spotted a faint object trailing next to it. Because it was moving, astronomers ruled it was a moon and not a background star, which is stationary.

The moon discovery is important because it can help scientists determine the new planet's mass. In July, Brown announced the discovery of an icy, rocky object larger than Pluto in the Kuiper Belt, a disc of icy bodies beyond Neptune. Brown labeled the object a planet and nicknamed it Xena after the lead character in the former TV series "Xena: Warrior Princess." The moon was nicknamed Gabrielle, after Xena's faithful traveling sidekick.

By determining the moon's distance and orbit around Xena, scientists can calculate how heavy Xena is. For example, the faster a moon goes around a planet, the more massive a planet is.

But the discovery of the moon is not likely to quell debate about what exactly makes a planet. The problem is there is no official definition for a planet and setting standards like size limits potentially invites other objects to take the "planet" label.

Possessing a moon is not a criteria of planethood since Mercury and Venus are moonless planets. Brown said he expected to find a moon orbiting Xena because many Kuiper Belt objects are paired with moons.

The newly discovered moon is about 155 miles wide and 60 times fainter than Xena, the farthest-known object in the solar system. It is currently 9 billion miles away from the sun, or about three times Pluto's current distance from the sun.

Scientists believe Xena's moon was formed when Kuiper Belt objects collided with one another. The Earth's moon formed in a similar way when Earth crashed into an object the size of Mars.

The moon was first spotted by a 10-meter telescope at the W.M. Keck Observatory in Hawaii on Sept. 10. Scientists expect to learn more about the moon's composition during further observations with the
Hubble Space Telescope in November.

Brown planned to submit a paper describing the moon discovery to the Astrophysical Journal next week. The International Astronomical Union, a group of scientists responsible for naming planets, is deciding on formal names for Xena and Gabrielle.

_____

On the Net:

California Institute of Technology: http://www.caltech.edu

W.M. Keck Observatory: http://www2.keck.hawaii.edu


http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20051002/ap_on_sc/new_planet_moon

Provost Harrison
02-10-2005, 12:27:24
The moon discovery is important because it can help scientists determine the new planet's mass. In July, Brown announced the discovery of an icy, rocky object larger than Pluto in the Kuiper Belt, a disc of icy bodies beyond Neptune. Brown labeled the object a planet and nicknamed it Xena after the lead character in the former TV series "Xena: Warrior Princess." The moon was nicknamed Gabrielle, after Xena's faithful traveling sidekick.

Have astronomers nowadays got absolutely no class :rolleyes:

Gary
02-10-2005, 18:12:02
Seems like they might have :D

alsieboo
02-10-2005, 19:30:28
Well that's really fucked up the ryhme they taught us in school

BigGameHunter
02-10-2005, 22:27:25
It could be worse...some corporation could have co-opted the rights to naming and we'd be calling them Big Mac and Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger right now.

Provost Harrison
02-10-2005, 22:37:31
Don't even say it BGH...some entrepreneurial astronomer may just accidentally stumble across that comment and *bam*, it happens...

Sir Penguin
02-10-2005, 22:52:36
www.goldenplanet.com

SP

MoSe
03-10-2005, 14:21:46
Oh My Gods.
I mean:
Oh My TV Characters...

Drekkus
03-10-2005, 14:46:12
In Korea alone there are millions of Moons.

mr.G
03-10-2005, 14:48:49
Thank god there is only one shitkiss

Drekkus
03-10-2005, 14:51:24
Es gibt nur ein Drek kus

Venom
03-10-2005, 14:52:45
Shitkiss Moon

Drekkus
03-10-2005, 14:59:16
I drop my trousers in your general direction

MoSe
03-10-2005, 18:31:11
I think all Moons are really Keith (http://www.keithmoon.com/)!!!!

:drumroll:


:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

RedFred
03-10-2005, 20:46:07
I just hope they go with the nickname Xena for the planet instead of the official name which I think was something icky like "Sedma".

The Norks
04-10-2005, 08:25:02
Sedna is an ice 'planet' smaller than Pluto, and Xena was just a nickname, it hasn't been officially named from what Ive been told.

mr.G
04-10-2005, 09:09:24
Xena hehehehehehehehehehehehehhehehe

Venom
04-10-2005, 13:11:11
And The Norks are in the know on these kinds of things.

RedFred
04-10-2005, 20:36:26
Wow! The planets go to eleven!

Gary
04-10-2005, 21:38:02
Originally posted by Venom
And The Norks are in the know on these kinds of things. Yeah, they like to keep abreast of the latest news.

The Norks
05-10-2005, 08:07:10
astrology see. Sedna is an Inuit warrior goddess of the sea incidentally, its interesting from an astrological pov that she was discovered around the time of the tsunami. Apparently there's an official planet naming body in the States and Xena will get an official name eventually.

MoSe
05-10-2005, 08:25:27
hhhmmmm, why an US body should have WORLD jurisdiction over planet naming?
It should be either the discoverer individually or a global, non national "naming body"

Funko
05-10-2005, 09:32:41
The Minor Planet Center is based at the Smithsonian (ie. Harvard), but it's run as part of the International Astronomical Union.

It's got to be based somewhere why not one of the top facilities in the world?

Gary
05-10-2005, 09:34:21
Because they say so ?

Like a lot of 'authorities', if you see a need for something and just start doing it, then other tend to let you.

Gary
05-10-2005, 09:36:21
Why is it, that, time and time again, a thread can 'sit there' unaltered for an hour or more, but as soon as I try to post something, someone slips a post in first ?

I swear you guys have a camera trained on me somewhere :nervous:

Funko
05-10-2005, 09:45:46
Yes, please put some clothes on...

Oerdin
05-10-2005, 09:56:13
Originally posted by MoSe
hhhmmmm, why an US body should have WORLD jurisdiction over planet naming?
It should be either the discoverer individually or a global, non national "naming body"

We're the only ones to have discovered planets in the last couple centuries. Still, I can't believe they have an official planet naming body since the last time they discovered a planet was around 1930 or so.

I guess that's not completely true since they found a few planets in other solar systems, but, those guys must have a very light work load. ;)

Funko
05-10-2005, 10:05:23
AFAIK they also name stuff like asteroids, comets and I assume planets round other stars etc.

Oerdin
05-10-2005, 10:13:39
It must be an international body.

Funko
05-10-2005, 10:15:33
It is! I just told you it was...

:rolleyes:

Gary
05-10-2005, 10:23:54
No, it's an interplanetary society :) ... and interasteroid, intercomet ...

MoSe
05-10-2005, 10:31:01
sorry, I misread, norks just said "in the States", which merely means States-based, not owned...

Gary
05-10-2005, 10:35:21
It's a natural mistake :)

Not State pwnd then ?

Oerdin
05-10-2005, 10:39:21
Originally posted by Funko
It is! I just told you it was...

:rolleyes:

Yeah, but who listens to you? :p

Drekkus
05-10-2005, 10:43:33
Originally posted by Gary
...I swear you guys have a camera trained on me somewhere :nervous: Trained killer cameras are the next thing after trained killer dolphins.

Oerdin
05-10-2005, 10:51:14
Shhh, you aren't supposed to tell him about the secret plan.

Gary
05-10-2005, 11:39:51
I *KNEW* that was a laser sight !

Drekkus
05-10-2005, 11:44:47
~knew~