And there's more...

Wow. It would appear that not one, but two large objects have been found way out beyond Pluto and have been announced in the last day or so.

The first is 2003 EL61 which has a mass of about 32% that of Pluto. If it has a similar density to Pluto, it would have a diameter of around 1500 km. See more here, here, here and here. 2003 EL61 even has its own moon which orbits every 49 days (five observations gave a precise orbit). It would appear that 2003 EL61 was first seen by some astronomers (see below) at Caltech but the first announcement was by astronomers at Instituto de Astrofisica de Andalucia.

The second object is 2003 UB313 (temporary name) is being called the 10th planet as it seems to be a bit larger than Pluto. It was found by Michael Brown of Caltech, Chad Trujillo of the Gemini Observatory in Hawaii and David Rabinowitz of Yale University. They have already submitted a name to the International Astronomical Union (IAU). The page title would suggest it was Lila (perhaps after Mike Brown's daughter) but that is just a guess and wild rumour on my part.
Update: Mike Brown now states that he got sentimental when writing his webpage early in the morning.

Posted in astro blog by Stuart on Saturday 30th Jul 2005 (01:55 UTC) | Permalink
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