Eris and Dysnomia

The object 2003 UB313 now has a name. Thank goodness for that. We can now start calling it Eris - a Greek goddess of discord and strife - which is quite appropriate given that 2003 UB313 Eris caused the definition of a planet to be brought into question over the last couple of years. It has taken this long for the name to be assigned because the status of the object - which is slightly larger than Pluto - had to be confirmed so that the appropriate naming committee of the IAU could decide. The new name is pronounced ee' ris and was suggested by its co-discoverer Mike Brown.

Eris's moon (previously nicknamed Gabrielle) has been named Dysnomia - the Daimon spirit of lawlessness - which may be playing on the surname of the actress that plays the character Xena (also Eris's nick name for the past year). In the Greek myths, Dysnomia was the daughter of

Eris and the counterpart to Eunomia who

puts an end to the anger of grievous strife.

We still have to wait for names for the other potential dwarf planets: 2005 FY9 and 2003 EL61.

Posted in astro blog by Stuart on Thursday 14th Sep 2006 (18:15 BST) | Permalink
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