Discovery! Possible Dwarf Planet Found Far Beyond Pluto’s Orbit

by Elizabeth Howell March 26, 2014

What is a dwarf planet? Some astronomers have been asking that question after Pluto was demoted from planethood almost a decade ago, partly due to discoveries of other worlds of similar proportions. Today, astronomers announced the discovery of 2012 VP113, a world that, assuming its reflectivity is moderate, is 280 miles (450 kilometers) in size and orbiting […]

9 comments Read the full article →

What Is The Kuiper Belt?

by Fraser Cain December 30, 2013

Dr. Mike Brown is a professor of planetary astronomy at Caltech. He’s best known as the man who killed Pluto, thanks to his team’s discovery of Eris and other Kuiper Belt Objects. We asked him to help us explain this unusual region of our solar sytem. Fraser Cain on Google+

4 comments Read the full article →

Makemake’s Mysteriously Missing Atmosphere

by Jason Major November 21, 2012

Artist’s impression of the surface of Makemake, a dwarf planet beyond Pluto (ESO/L. Calçada/Nick Risinger) It turns out there’s no air up there: the distant dwarf planet Makemake is surprisingly lacking in an atmosphere, according to findings made by astronomers using telescopes at ESO’s La Silla and Paranal observatories. Jason Major on Google+

10 comments Read the full article →

Are Pluto and Eris Twins?

by Ray Sanders October 26, 2011

Back a couple of weeks ago, I wrote an article highlighting the debate between scientists on which dwarf planet is bigger, Pluto or Eris. During a planetary science conference earlier this month in France, word “leaked” out that Eris was still more massive, but likely smaller in diameter. Today, the latest findings were published in […]

207 comments Read the full article →

Pluto or Eris: Which is Bigger?

by Ray Sanders October 14, 2011

The controversy between Pluto and Eris regarding their status as “largest dwarf planet” continues. During a joint meeting of the American Astronomical Society Division for Planetary Sciences and the European Planetary Science Congress last week in Nantes, France, new data was presented that may help settle the debate. The new findings regarding this size of […]

40 comments Read the full article →