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Space Science

New Frozen World Found Beyond Pluto 763

Posted by timothy
from the delightfully-free-of-tourists dept.
theBrownfury writes "BBC, Sydney Herald, and the Indian Express are reporting a new object, which is one-tenth the diameter of the Earth, and lies well beyond Pluto in an area of the Solar System known as the Kuiper Belt. The new world, which has been dubbed Quaoar, is about 1,280 kilometres (800 miles) across. Quaoar orbits the sun ever 288 years and is 1250 Km wide, about the size of all the asteroids combined. This discovery is being hailed as the most important solar system discovery in the past 72 years."
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New Frozen World Found Beyond Pluto

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  • by Ted_Green (205549) on Monday October 07, 2002 @01:03PM (#4403800)
    Now you all must die!
  • by von Prufer (444647) on Monday October 07, 2002 @01:03PM (#4403804)
    "This discovery is being hailed as the most important solar system discovery in the past 72 years."

    Not by me.
    • Agreed, water on the moon, water on mars, possibly tokens of life on mars (on micrometeorites), the beautiful and geologically complex moons of Jupiter & saturn.

      Compared to a block of rock 1/2 the size of pluto?, even colder & further out? It shows large objects exists in the kuijper belt but thats nice to know, not at all in the same league as some other recent discoveries .

  • Quaoar? I think you mean Planet X!
  • Aw shucks (Score:5, Funny)

    by entrippy (14141) on Monday October 07, 2002 @01:04PM (#4403821)
    They called it "Quaoar"? You can't even pronounce it! Here I was hoping they'd have the decencey to name the planet out past Pluto as it should be named.

    Goofy.
  • Is it really? (Score:5, Informative)

    by joyoflinux (522023) <thejoyoflinux@NOSPaM.yahoo.com> on Monday October 07, 2002 @01:05PM (#4403824)
    This article [theage.com.au] at TheAge disputes whether this object is really a planet...
    • Re:Is it really? (Score:3, Informative)

      by gabec (538140)
      they also found this thing years ago.. well... known that it was out there for a while, just not exactly where. here's a page [raytheon.com] talking about it in Feb 2000, for example.
    • Re:Is it really? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Pedrito (94783) on Monday October 07, 2002 @01:24PM (#4404037) Homepage
      Yeah, they're still trying to decided if Pluto is a planet. Really, though, it's a matter of semantics. Either way, it's a big rock that circles the sun. That can be said about a few of the other planets.

      It's still a cool discovery.
    • Re:Is it really? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Atzanteol (99067) on Monday October 07, 2002 @01:32PM (#4404133) Homepage
      That's because the term "Planet" is rather loosely defined. Nobody has ever really set a lower-limit on the size of a planet. Asteroids are 'small bodies' that orbit the sun. Planets are 'larger bodies' that orbit the sun. Pluto is smaller than our Moon, yet many still consider it a planet simply because it orbits the Sun.

      This new object will have difficulty becoming a 'Planet' by name.
  • I wonder if they just hammered on the computer to come up with this one.... random keys?
  • Will it stay named? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Astin (177479) on Monday October 07, 2002 @01:05PM (#4403830)
    After all, they threatened to delist Pluto as a planet.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 07, 2002 @01:11PM (#4403879)
      yes, but pluto managed to pull its stock up over $1, so it's still listed.
    • Pluto will remain a planet because that's the convention that has been established. We call it a planet because we call it a planet. Circular reasoning, but all taxonomy is arbitrary at some level. As long as they send spacecraft to this new thing, I don't care what they call it.
    • Well sure. Some of the larger asteroids, e.g. Ceres, have names.
      • by mumkin (28230)
        It's not just the larger asteroids that have names, and they're certainly not all from ancient mythology. Check out this list of minor planetary bodies [harvard.edu]. It's a long read, but there are some real gems. Lots of dead Greeks, of course, masters of dusty literature, music, science, etc. Seems like almost every city, state, and country has a minor planet named for it. Those who don't can be content to be represented by (6000) United Nations.

        Perhaps most apropos to note in this forum are asteroids (9965) GNU, (9885) Linux, (9793) Torvalds and (9882) Stallman (all spotted and named by the Kitt Peak Spacewatch crew [arizona.edu]).

        Childhood fairytales include (14014) Munchhausen, (17627) Humptydumpty, (1773) Rumpelstilz and (5405) Neverland. (2675) Tolkien and (2991) Bilbo are memorialized in minor planetary names as well.

        Luminaries of Science fiction are well-represented by planetary bodies such as (5020) Asimov, (9766) Bradbury, (21811) Burroughs, (4923) Clarke, (6371) Heinlein, (12284) Pohl, and (7758) Poulanderson.

        (4659) Roddenberry is accompanied by (9777) Enterprise, (26734) Terryfarrell and the dreaded (2913) Horta (2362).

        The (3325) TARDIS is floating out there somewhere too, as is (18610) Arthurdent.

        (13681) MontyPython and the circus are flying around -- (9617) Grahamchapman, (9618) Johncleese, (9619) Terrygilliam, (9620) Ericidle, (9621) Michaelpalin, and (9622) Terryjones.

        (291) Alice may (or may not) be the young friend of (6984) Lewiscarroll -- along with (6042) Cheshirecat, (6735) Madhatter, (17518) Redqueen, (17942) Whiterabbit, (9387) Tweedledee and (17681) Tweedledum.

        Beware the (7470) Jabberwock, my son (the jaws that bite, the claws that catch) beware the (9781) Jubjubbird and shun the frumious (9780) Bandersnatch!

        Both (4386) Lust and (3162) Nostalgia might be served by a visit to (12382) Niagara Falls. Don't tell (10515) Old Joe.

        Hollywood has a presence in space, with (25930) Spielberg and (7032) Hitchcock, (11548) Jerrylewis, (11419) Donjohnson, (20789) Hughgrant and (12050) Humecronyn. (13070) Seanconnery stars as (9007) James Bond.

        Too many cool ones to list all at once, but I have to mention (8147) Colemanhawkins, and (6318) Cronkite. There's the trio of (5048) Moriarty, (5049) Sherlock and (5050) Doctorwatson, followed by (5051) Ralph.

        Have some (29700) Salmon.

    • They've named asteriods, so it might stay named even though it won't be a 10th planet.
  • by Em Emalb (452530) <[moc.liamg] [ta] [blameme]> on Monday October 07, 2002 @01:06PM (#4403835) Homepage Journal
    "However, Quaoar is not an official name - at least not yet. In a few months, the International Astronomical Union, astronomy's governing body, will vote on it."

    I vote for CowboyNeal.
    • by devphil (51341) on Monday October 07, 2002 @02:03PM (#4404388) Homepage


      is Persephone. (per-SEF-oh-nee) This would be the chick from Greek mythology that ate the pomogranate seeds and thus had to stay in Hades for half the year (when the world grows cold), and gets to come out the other half (when the world warms up again).

      Most of the SF and speculative fiction/nonfiction articles over the last few decades have all referred to a tenth planet as Persephone, on the assumption that we would continue naming major astronomical objects for ancient mythological figures.

      • by kalidasa (577403) on Monday October 07, 2002 @02:17PM (#4404504) Journal

        Interestingly there are a few problems with the name Persephone. All of the major planets are named for Roman gods; Persephone is the Greek name for the goddess in Latin called Proserpina.

        Second, there is the suggestion that Clarke (or maybe Asimov) made before Charon was discovered: he suggested that Pluto's moon, if one were ever discovered, be named Persephone, and that the name Charon be given to any trans-Plutonian planet, with I think Cerberus being reserved for any moons of that planet. That way someone from outside the system would have to pass Charon and Cerberus (or maybe it was Styx) to get to Pluto and Persephone.

        See the Space Telescope Institute's Press Release [stsci.edu] for more information about Quaoar; on the name, this link [angelfire.com] may be of use; it looks like Quaoar is a name from mythology, albeit indigenous American mythology, which makes it consistent with the names of the minor planets and moons (which do not need to be named after Roman gods; the moons of Uranus are even named after characters from Shakespeare : e.g., Oberon and Titania from Much Ado About Nothing, and Ariel and Miranda from The Tempest).

      • by Rand Race (110288) on Monday October 07, 2002 @02:36PM (#4404648) Homepage
        It's taken [ozemail.com.au]:

        399 Persephone


        This main belt asteroid is approx 52 km in diameter and was discoveredby M Wolf at Heidelberg in 1895. This first determination of the spin period was made from 6 nights ofobservations (by Col Bembrick) over a time span of 6 weeks, representing 58 rotations of the asteroid.The large amplitude of the light curve approx 0.4 magnitudes implies a considerable irregularity in theshape of this asteroid.


        Personally I would think Minerva would be a better fit being a Roman goddess, but that's an asteroid too.

  • Dimensions (Score:4, Interesting)

    by red_dragon (1761) on Monday October 07, 2002 @01:06PM (#4403839) Homepage
    ... The new world, which has been dubbed Quaoar, is about 1,280 kilometres (800 miles) across. Quaoar orbits the sun ever 288 years and is 1250 Km wide, about the size of all the asteroids combined.

    So which one is it? 1280? 1250? Both? Neither? CowboyNeal?

  • Blarney (Score:5, Funny)

    by Shamanin (561998) on Monday October 07, 2002 @01:06PM (#4403841)
    "Quaoar orbits the sun ever 288 years"

    Do I perceive a-bit of the ol' Irish accent in ye? Or are ye a pirate be?
  • >
    This discovery is being hailed as the most important solar system discovery in the past 72 years."
    You mean a little frozen ball of dirt at the edge of the solar system is a more important discovery than the news that we have two... er, three... no two moons orbiting our own planet? or Neil Armstrong's discovery that the moon is, in fact, not made of green cheese? Wow.
  • by Tablizer (95088) on Monday October 07, 2002 @01:08PM (#4403852) Homepage Journal
    Quaoar

    Otherwise known as the Vowel Planet
  • MVEMJSUNP (Score:5, Funny)

    by Squarewav (241189) on Monday October 07, 2002 @01:09PM (#4403856)
    My Very Energetic Mother Just Served Us Nine Pizzas Q???
    ahh damn now what are we supposed to use to remember the planet order
  • Funny (Score:2, Interesting)

    by enkidu55 (321423)
    You'd think with an object that is the size of all the other Kuiper belt asteroids combined, somebody would have noticed it floating around out there.

    In a related news quote from the LINEAR research team "Holy Shit, did you see the size of that rock floating out there!"
  • I'm glad that I'm done with school now.. It would suck to be the kid these days having to learn about all these new planets found in our solar system. And why do all these new planets have such crazy names? Won't somebody think of the children?
  • by ites (600337) on Monday October 07, 2002 @01:09PM (#4403867) Journal
    Dunno, but I've racked my brains for the last five minutes
    and I can't think of a single thing we could do with Quaoar (OSLT).
    Nope. Zilch. Not a single damn use for another planet.
    We still haven't figured out what we're going to do with the current lot.
    Perhaps I'm an ignorant barbarian, but how is finding one more planet 'important'?
    I mean... surely 'importance' has to have something to do with human aspirations?
  • How could Pluto not be considered a planetoid when it has a satellite (Charon)? Does this make any sense to anyone?
    • Uhh... It's since been discovered that there are most likely more than a few asteroids with satellites out there. We already know of several.

      The earliest discovered one being Ida's satellite, Dactyl, which the Galileo probe took some very nice pictures of on its way to Jupiter.
    • by Ektanoor (9949) on Monday October 07, 2002 @01:20PM (#4403997) Journal
      It may make sense. Some good years ago, Dr. Van Flandern published several weird ideas about our solar system. He mentioned that some weirdnesses seen on certain asteroids pointed to the fact that they could have satellites. He was demonished for this theory but Galileo probe did find such an asteroid in its way to Jupiter. Sincerly, Pluto is too big for an asteroid and too small for a true planet. But still no one real could classify the real edge between planets and small bodies... So I wouldn't be admired to see this new object also bouncing between both terms.

      For UFO manhunters/bashers: note that VF was once the director of the U.S. Naval Astronomy, and one of the guys who help find Charon. Since Richard Hoagland started to search for hyperpyramids in the closet, he suffered some bad publicity, but still, his researches are quite important because they are in the edge of Science and some have had positive results recently.
    • by kalidasa (577403) on Monday October 07, 2002 @02:29PM (#4404596) Journal

      Pluto is the threshold case. At the moment, it seems to be the conventional wisdom that anything found that's larger than Pluto will have to be considered for planet status, and anything smaller for planetoid/asteroid/comet status. Quaoar would thus not be a planet. But who knows? The important thing is that a solar system can have these kinds of objects:
      Stars (Sun)
      Brown dwarfs (none known in our system)
      Gas giants (Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune)
      Terrestrial planets (Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars)
      Asteroids (Ceres, Vesta, Pallas, etc.)
      Kuiper-like objects (Pluto, Quoaoar, maybe Chiron)
      Comets (maybe Chiron, Halley, etc.)
      Terrestrial moons (the Moon, Io, Europa, Titan, Iapetus)
      Kuiper-like-object-like moons (Charon, maybe Triton)
      Asteroid-like moons (Phobos, Deimos, Amalthea)
      Dust lanes and planetary rings
      Protostars, protoplanets, protoplanetary disks
      etc.

      As you can see, the star/planet/asteroid/comet/moon classification isn't quite detailed enough for what we now know.

  • Great name! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Ravagin (100668) on Monday October 07, 2002 @01:13PM (#4403907)

    Quoth BBC:


    Astronomers named the new object Quaoar, after the creation myth of the Tongva people who inhabited the Los Angeles area before the arrival of the Spanish and other European settlers.

    I happen to think that that is way groovy. It's about time some other ancient belief systems got in on the planet-naming! :)

  • by Triv (181010) on Monday October 07, 2002 @01:14PM (#4403913) Journal
    For the sake of geekdom everywhere -- If there's a tenth planet out there, it's gotta be called Persephone (I don't think Rupert would go over too well).

    (We miss you, Douglas)

    Triv
  • in the solar system, not "most important"... biggest as in the largest object found in _our_ solar system in 72 years.

    Lead in is a little misleading...
  • by rattler14 (459782) on Monday October 07, 2002 @01:14PM (#4403919)
    my
    very
    eager
    mother
    just
    served
    us
    nine
    p izzas
    um... quickly?

    ah well, i'm sure someone else can come up with something more creative
  • K-Pax (Score:3, Funny)

    by rppp01 (236599) on Monday October 07, 2002 @01:14PM (#4403921) Homepage
    Prot was right! I knew it!

    Now I know he was really an alien!
  • by yndrd (529288)
    Most important solar system discovery in the last 72 years? More important than:
    • Liquid oceans on Europa
    • Ice on the moon
    • Possible signs of water erosion on Mars
    This seems only important to people counting rocks and not to people with any hope of visiting them or furthering our understanding of the one we're on.
  • Why abandon a perfectly good naming convention? How about Vulcan?
  • Has anyone contacted the Banzai institute and asked for Buckaroo's opinion on the discovery of the location of Planet Ten?

    Will the Nova police cover this story up?

    Z.

  • A. The planet we call Pluto that some people are now saying (or have already been saying) is not really a planet at all.


    This message was bought to you by the coalition to get peopel to read the articles.
  • Astronomers named the new object Quaoar, after the creation myth of the Tongva people who inhabited the Los Angeles area before the arrival of the Spanish and other European settlers.

    To the indigenous peoples, Quaoar was the great force of nature that summoned all other things into being.


    I guess they ran out of Roman gods already.
    • Re:More Naming Crap (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Ektanoor (9949) on Monday October 07, 2002 @01:34PM (#4404155) Journal
      No, they are probably afraid of naming it Nemesis - the Death Star. There are some theories about the Sun having an older sister in the form of a brown dwarf. Some consider alternatively the existence of a planet somewhat bigger than Jupiter. They use these theories to explain the episodical extinctions on Earth, supposedly caused by swarms of Kuiper belt comets falling inside the Solar system. This hypothetical "star/planet" is supposed to be much far away than Quaoar. Some theories give its orbit the fantastic period of 3 million years, and some consider it the reason why we can't find it...

      Well, probably some academical SF. They, sometimes, are also good writers...
  • In 'Mostly Harmless', a tenth planet was discovered. In the story it was named Persephone, but it was more commonly known as Rupert, which was the name of the astronomer's (who discovered it) parrot. With this discovery, the science of astrology could be set back years. What happens if you were born while Rupert was in your tenth house of Mars, etc.
  • One minor nitpick... (Score:2, Informative)

    by Cu (75342)
    If it is a planet, it orbits the sun once per year. It just has longer years.
  • Ok, they have some vital stats on this "planet"

    can someone here please tell me ot point ot links on how you can from observing something through a telescope tell how wide a dot of light is and oll those other statistics? I understand through cromatography you can see different things...

    How do they get these statistics?? Other than just pulling a number out their butt?
  • What makes a planet? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Fugly (118668) on Monday October 07, 2002 @01:24PM (#4404040) Homepage
    What makes an object a planet? Size? The presence of its own sattelites? An atmosphere? What separates planets from large asteroids?

    It seems to me the astronomy community can't decide. How hard can it be? It's an arbitrary classification that doesn't actually mean anything. It's all just hunks of rock orbiting the sun. It's a classification that doesn't actually mean anything. Somebody just make a decision and let's all stick to it. It's annoying not knowing how many planets have been discovered in our own solar system.
    • by LMCBoy (185365) on Monday October 07, 2002 @01:59PM (#4404362) Homepage Journal
      What makes an object a planet?

      That's a tough question.

      Size?

      Yes. Generally, a body should be large enough that gravity makes it roughly spherical, before it can be considered a planet. However, this is apparently a necessary-but-not-sufficient criterion.

      The presence of its own sattelites?
      No. See Mercury and Venus.

      An atmosphere?
      No. See Mercury.

      How hard can it be? It's an arbitrary classification that doesn't actually mean anything.

      You just answered your own question. It's hard to draw the line between planet and non-planet precisely because the line is arbitrary and has no real meaning.

      I think we should just call it a planet if it (1) orbits a star directly; (2) is massive enough to be roughly spherical; and (3) is not so massive that it is either a brown dwarf or a star. However, please note that this definition would include the asteroid Ceres, which is generally not considered a planet...maybe it should be.
      (Ceres is 900 km in diameter, compared to this new one's 1250-km diameter).
  • by wytcld (179112) on Monday October 07, 2002 @01:26PM (#4404059) Homepage
    See this note from the American Museum of Natural History [amnh.org] on the controversy and their suggested conclusion [amnh.org], along with National Geographic's account of the demotion [nationalgeographic.com].

    So, if all we have with this new thingie is the second largest Kuiper Belt object after Pluto - so what? Isn't the news play just about trying to get more funding from the fine fellows who've identified it, which is more likely if the headlines scream "Tenth Planet!" What a cynical abuse of the press. Science should stop grubbing, and strive for purity of purpose, lest the results themselves be corrupted. Prostitution just isn't the same as free love.

  • by cryptochrome (303529) on Monday October 07, 2002 @01:31PM (#4404125) Journal
    If it's a planet, give it a proper name from the list of the major Roman gods. When they named Pluto they suggested the following (from Appolonius.net [apollonius.net]). I vote for Baccus, god of wine and mysteries, or secondly Cronus.:

    The naming of Pluto is a story by itself. Early suggestions of the name of the new planet were: Atlas, Zymal, Artemis, Perseus, Vulcan, Tantalus, Idana, Cronus. The New York Times suggested Minerva, reporters suggested Osiris, Bacchus, Apollo, Erebus. Lowell's widow suggested Zeus, but later changed her mind to Constance. Many people suggested the planet be named Lowell. The staff of the Flagstaff observatory, where Pluto was discovered, suggested Cronus, Minerva, and Pluto. A few months later the planet was officially named Pluto. The name Pluto was originally suggested by Venetia Burney, an 11-year-old schoolgirl in Oxford, England.
  • Meaning of the name? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Winterblink (575267) on Monday October 07, 2002 @01:37PM (#4404182) Homepage
    Did a little Googling, found the following definition of Quaoar. Don't know if it's real or not. *shrug*

    Quaoar: Their only god who "came down from heaven; and, after reducing chaos to order, out the world on the back of seven giants. He then created the lower animals," and then mankind. Los Angeles County Indians, California

  • by Tablizer (95088) on Monday October 07, 2002 @01:39PM (#4404198) Homepage Journal
    New DS9 tongue twister:

    Quark, Queue me up a Quick Quart of Quaoar
  • by IvyMike (178408) on Monday October 07, 2002 @01:45PM (#4404238)

    Everybody knows that the planets are supposed to be named after the Roman gods. That's just the way it is. Here's a list of some of the more common Roman gods [hypermart.net]. I'm sure some of the Hercules and Xena fans out there can add to this list.

    Personally, I like:

    • Minerva, better known by her greek name as Athena. Just because it sounds cool. She sounds like she might be a hottie, too.
    • Somnus, the god of sleep. Because of course a planet that far away from the sun must be asleep.
    • Bacchus, the god of free beer. Just because I like free beer.
  • by thatguywhoiam (524290) on Monday October 07, 2002 @01:49PM (#4404262)
    [ Loosely paraphrased from Calculating God...]

    Alien: It's only natural that humans would use a base-10 number system. You have 10 of everything. 10 fingers, 10 toes, 10 planets in your solar system...

    Human: Uh, that's nine planets.

    Alien: Keep looking.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 07, 2002 @01:51PM (#4404280)
    What is your favorite pronunciation of Quaoar?
    1) kyoo-ohr
    2) kway-ohr
    3) kwow-ahr
    5) kwak-kwak
    6) k-pax
    7) kow-boi-neel
  • by cje (33931) on Monday October 07, 2002 @02:06PM (#4404417) Homepage
    Here is a link to the Quaoar FAQ [caltech.edu], maintained by Chad Truijillo, one of the planet's co-discoverers. There's a lot of cool stuff there, including the discovery images (animated so you can see it moving across the star field), the Hubble images, information about the orbit, etc.

  • And puts another Stonehenge in my backyard?
  • by Jugalator (259273) on Monday October 07, 2002 @03:19PM (#4405001) Journal
    - Around half the size of Pluto (and there's been dispute if Pluto is a planet).

    - 5% of the sky was looked at before finding Quaoar, so there might very well be a dozen more Quaoar-sized "planets" in the Kupier belt. Even Pluto-sized planets might be out there.

    - Water, methane, methanol, and carbon dioxide ice seem to exist on Quaoar.

    - Quaoar's name isn't decided yet and its designation is 2002 LM60 until a name is officially decided upon in a few months.

    - Quaoar is pronounced "kwah-o-wahr" and is the name of a great force of creation among the Tongva people.

    - Quaoar is 42 AU from Earth, while Pluto and Neptune are both 30 AU from Earth. 1 Astronomical Unit = One "Sun to Earth" distance.

    - If standing on Quaoar, what one would see at the Sun (and the Earth) would be what happened 5 hours ago, since light takes 5 hours to travel to Quaoar.

    - A Space Shuttle would need 25 years to travel to Quaoar.

    - Google News about Quaoar [google.com].
  • by watanabe (27967) on Monday October 07, 2002 @03:23PM (#4405033)
    I want this to be moved into orbit around earth, so that we can have two moons, like "Hook." Woo! That would be great. Who wants to fund the expedition? I'm sure we can profit from the new moon somehow. Like, countries could pay to keep it in or out of their orbit... How great would this be? Like "Grandpa, were you there when they added the second moon?" "Yes Deirdre, I was. In fact, I suggested it..."

    Moon2.com. If only it were 1999, this would already be funded!!

  • by Kaz Riprock (590115) on Monday October 07, 2002 @05:20PM (#4405997)
    The original poster wrote:
    Quaoar orbits the sun ever 288 years
    Actually, Quaoar fully orbits the sun once every year. 288 Earth years = 1 Quaoar year. Don't be so planetocentric. :)
  • by sacrilicious (316896) on Monday October 07, 2002 @05:38PM (#4406138) Homepage
    Hmm, ten planets. This renders useless all those messages we've sent for aliens to find... the ones where a sun is shown with nine planets orbiting it, and a humanoid figure shown near the third one.

    Zok: Hey, this looks like the place from the message, check it out: humanoids, single sun...

    Glork: Oh wait though, there are ten planets. Let's keep looking.

    Klork: Drat! I was so looking forward to bestowing the technological gift of perfectly realistic virtual porn on yet another race.

  • by Jugalator (259273) on Monday October 07, 2002 @07:08PM (#4406651) Journal
    - Varuna was discovered in 2000 and measures 1,000 kilometers in diameter.
    - Ixion was discovered in 2001 and is thought to be of similar size as Quaoar and Varuna.
    - .. and Quaoar itself has actually been imaged in 1982 - 2001 but not detected as a planet until now. How embarassing. :-)

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