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 →

What Is A Dwarf Planet

by Jerry Coffey September 2, 2010

There are many criteria that go into explaining what is a dwarf planet. The International Astronomical Union(IAU) defines a dwarf planet like this ‘… is a celestial body orbiting a star that is massive enough to be rounded by its own gravity but has not cleared its neighboring region of planetismals and is not a […]

Read the full article →