Print 33 comment(s) - last by Missing Ghost.. on Feb 4 at 9:45 PM

Potentially the 10th planet in the solar system, scientists confirm that Xena is larger than Pluto

Astronomers recently declared that Xena, the object known as 2003 UB313, is bigger than Pluto -- over 400 miles in diameter larger.  Xena was originally discovered by Mike Brown, a professor of planetary science at the California Institute of Technology, but no one has been able to confirm his original speculation that the object is bigger than Pluto until just recently. Due to the object's irregular orbit, ocassionally Xena's orbit is three times as far from the sun than that of Pluto.

The International Astronomical Union is still in heated debate on whether or not Xena is even a planet.  The group's definition, which is currently being re-evaluated, could leave us with either eight planets (omitting Pluto), or expand it to 10 planets.

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By Connoisseur on 2/3/2006 2:39:24 PM , Rating: 2
They're calling it Xena?!? Lucy Lawless is gonna have a ball with this one... come on, given the pop culture reference couldn't they call it some other Roman god name?

By nycazn79 on 2/3/2006 2:51:57 PM , Rating: 2
Looks like I have to create a new :"My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nine Pickles/Pizza" for kids to memorize the planets.

By ZmaxDP on 2/3/2006 7:19:10 PM , Rating: 4
My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nine Pickled Xylaphones?

My Very Educated Mother Just Said Uncles Never Play Xylaphones?

My Vociferous Etruscan Milkmaid Javelined Seventeen Ugly Nincompoop's Ppurple Xylaphones?

I'm just sayin...

By ElFenix on 2/4/2006 11:16:58 AM , Rating: 2
nice etruscan reference

By shortylickens on 2/3/2006 7:27:23 PM , Rating: 2
Do you really need a cute limmerick to remember the names of the planets?

By theslug on 2/3/2006 8:01:48 PM , Rating: 2
Actually it's not a limerick, it's a mnemonic.

By Griswold on 2/3/2006 3:09:13 PM , Rating: 2
Thing is, the name Xena exists a little longer than the TV show... actually, longer than TV itself.

By McTwist on 2/3/2006 3:14:33 PM , Rating: 2
Xena is just what the discoverer is calling it. He submitted an official request to the IAU but it hasn't been leaked yet. I think it is fair to assume that they won't be naming it Xena.

By Aquila76 on 2/3/2006 3:20:32 PM , Rating: 4
I know what you mean. Why couldn't they call it something better, like I don't know, CHUCK NORRIS!

By KristopherKubicki on 2/3/2006 3:21:59 PM , Rating: 5
I second teh motion to name the 10th planet Chuck Norris. We can then name the two moons Law and Order.


By Griswold on 2/3/2006 3:30:26 PM , Rating: 2
No no no.. the two moons would be called Round and Kick. Chuck Norris style, you know.

By aLeoN on 2/3/2006 10:04:16 PM , Rating: 2
Or Law and Order, whatever chuck wants.

By RandomFool on 2/3/2006 5:01:32 PM , Rating: 2
That's retarded...I'm so sick of all these chuck norris jokes...

By Griswold on 2/4/2006 11:44:15 AM , Rating: 2
I got more for you!

When the Boogeyman goes to sleep every night, he checks his closet for Chuck Norris.

Chuck Norris' tears cure cancer. Too bad he has never cried.

Some people eat pepperoni on their pizza. Some people have canadian bacon. Chuck Norris usually has Venezuela.

and of course

Chuck Norris believes what goes around comes a roundhouse kick to the face.

To stay semi on-topic:

The government called upon Chuck Norris to destroy an asteroid the size of Texas. Chuck Norris rode on top of rocket with nothing but a fork and a cherry bomb. Needless to say the asteroid lost.

Go have a look at:

By mlittl3 on 2/3/2006 5:21:14 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, IIRC, the discoverer of the planet was a Xena the warrior princess fan and actually named the planet after the character on the show. It is not coincidence or some roman god, it is actually Lucy Lawless's character.

If you look at the wikipedia entry for it, some astronomers found a moon orbiting Xena and named it Gabrielle.

Now how do you like that.

By Griswold on 2/4/2006 6:29:25 PM , Rating: 2

The X of Xena stands for Planet X; they had wanted more female names for astronomical bodies, and this was the closest they could come to a mythological female name beginning with X.

More like practicable than fandom. Plus, Xena is, according to your wiki link, just a nickname and not the real name they proposed to the IAU. The official provisional name is still 2003 UB313.

By kmmatney on 2/4/2006 3:02:35 AM , Rating: 2
I thought they were going to call it Goofy.

...but how big is it compared to uranus?
By Pythias on 2/3/2006 4:17:38 PM , Rating: 2
Ba dum pum!

RE: ...but how big is it compared to uranus?
By gersson on 2/3/2006 4:54:29 PM , Rating: 2
We finally found where god was hiding...

RE: ...but how big is it compared to uranus?
By scruffypup on 2/3/2006 5:51:55 PM , Rating: 2
All the previous planets were named after Roman Gods,... also this is old news as it was found in 2003 actually,... and the finder of a space object usually has naming rights,...

RE: ...but how big is it compared to uranus?
By bunnyfubbles on 2/3/2006 6:54:06 PM , Rating: 2
No, it was found in 2005, the pictures used to find it were taken in 2003. There's a big difference.

RE: ...but how big is it compared to uranus?
By scruffypup on 2/3/2006 7:37:57 PM , Rating: 2
thank you for the correction,... it was "discovered" in mid '05,... which to me is still old news on this subject, especially since they have found other similar "planet-like" objects long ago; such as Sedna, Varuna, Ixion and Quaoar (if one maintains that Pluto is a planet) out there as well, Xena just happens to be larger than Pluto and why there is the debate now on what will consititute a planet,... for most likely there are others larger than Pluto still waiting to be found

RE: ...but how big is it compared to uranus?
By Griswold on 2/4/2006 11:50:24 AM , Rating: 2
Not quite correct. This "what is large enough to be called a planet" debate is fairly old and certainly older than the discovery of Xena's actual size.

Later this year, Pluto as well as Xena and any "new" discovered object that would be called a planet by todays standards, could lose their status of a planet, when some bright guys and gals redefine the specifications of the term "planet".

By Missing Ghost on 2/4/2006 9:45:27 PM , Rating: 2
For me, if it was created with the sun, it is a planet. If it comes from the outer space, it is not a planet. So pluto is not a planet.
And, what happened to Sedna? I thought it was officially the last planet!

By Griswold on 2/3/2006 3:08:18 PM , Rating: 3
Did you see the two moons of Xena? Impressive...

RE: But
By DigitalFreak on 2/3/2006 3:36:35 PM , Rating: 2
Gabrial and Joxer

RE: But
By PandaBear on 2/3/2006 5:28:25 PM , Rating: 2
Nice and round silicon pieces....Mmmm...

Xena is a good name
By rpierce on 2/3/2006 4:16:58 PM , Rating: 2
Xena is fine, Pluto was named after a dog from Disney.

RE: Xena is a good name
By NagoyaX on 2/3/2006 4:42:52 PM , Rating: 2
actually i believe it was named after Hades. Greek god of the underworld. The Romans called him Pluto

RE: Xena is a good name
By oTAL on 2/4/2006 4:51:10 PM , Rating: 2
DUH! Some ppl really need some sense of humour kicked into their head with a round house - Chuck Norris style!

Why not Xenu?
By SaltBoy on 2/4/2006 6:48:16 AM , Rating: 2
That would make Tom Cruise happy...

RE: Why not Xenu?
By Griswold on 2/4/2006 11:51:21 AM , Rating: 2
That must be the home world of those crazy scientology freaks, aye?

RE: Why not Xenu?
By OvErHeAtInG on 2/4/2006 4:53:00 PM , Rating: 2
I thought that was Mormons.

"A politician stumbles over himself... Then they pick it out. They edit it. He runs the clip, and then he makes a funny face, and the whole audience has a Pavlovian response." -- Joe Scarborough on John Stewart over Jim Cramer

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