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New Frozen World Found Beyond Pluto

timothy posted more than 11 years ago | from the delightfully-free-of-tourists dept.

Space 763

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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Ah crap... you've found my home planet. (5, Funny)

Ted_Green (205549) | more than 11 years ago | (#4403800)

Now you all must die!

Can you imagine (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4403820)

a beowulf cluster of Quaoar?

Thank you.

I'd laugh ... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4403889)

but I live in Maryland!

Most Important Solar System Discovery (5, Funny)

von Prufer (444647) | more than 11 years ago | (#4403804)

"This discovery is being hailed as the most important solar system discovery in the past 72 years."

Not by me.

Re:Most Important Solar System Discovery (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4403932)

Well la-de-dah, WHO THE FUCK are you, COPERNICUS?

Pronunciation (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4403807)

Quaoar. It is pronounced 'Lie-nucks'.

Is that the name? (2)

Henry V .009 (518000) | more than 11 years ago | (#4403808)

Quaoar? I think you mean Planet X!

I was taught the same thing in grade school... (2)

acidfast7 (551610) | more than 11 years ago | (#4403893)

in 4th grade (1985-86) that a disputed planet, dubbed Planet X, had an orbit outside of Pluto yet revolved around our sun. I actually included it in our final class project. After all these years I thought it was a farce, but now someone else has heard of it.

Our solar system ... (1)

mustangdavis (583344) | more than 11 years ago | (#4403810)

is made up of nine planets .... er ...

Our solar system is made up of ten planets ...

Re:Our solar system ... (3, Insightful)

Derkec (463377) | more than 11 years ago | (#4403884)

No, this is further evidence that our solar system is made up of 8 planets and there are also a stack of Kuiper belt objects of various sizes. Pluto, just being a rather large and well known one.

Re:Our solar system ... (4, Interesting)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 11 years ago | (#4403962)

is made up of nine planets .... er ... Our solar system is made up of ten planets ...

It is sometimes said by astronomers that our solar system is made up of the Sun, Jupiter, and bunch of other little clutter. The mass of the rocky planets, and even the smaller gas giants is dismal compared to Jupiter.

The borderline between planet and asteroid is blurry. We might as well stop counting at Pluto out of tradition. However, if something bigger than Pluto is found out there, then the debate will heat up again.

Hmmmmm. I wonder if the Sun is even the brightest star out at the distance of Qu...... whatchmacallit. I would guess that it still is. Although Sun is not a big star, Q is still far closer to it than others.

Again? (0, Redundant)

nogoodmonkey (614350) | more than 11 years ago | (#4403815)

Haven't they discovered and disputed this "planet" for years? I believe I have seen this on space.com before in the past.

How sure are they? (1)

program21 (469995) | more than 11 years ago | (#4403817)

There's been a lot of controversy over other 'discoveries' of a 10th planet over the years, I'm just curious as to how sure these guys are, and what evidence they have that will convince their colleagues.

7th post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4403818)

content

Re:7th post (-1, Offtopic)

nogoodmonkey (614350) | more than 11 years ago | (#4403843)

8th post to be exact.

MOD UP: Informative (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4403902)

Credit where it is due.

Aw shucks (5, Funny)

entrippy (14141) | more than 11 years ago | (#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.

Re:Aw shucks (1)

earthpig (227603) | more than 11 years ago | (#4403935)

i always thought the planet after pluto would be micky mouse.
you see pluto is his dog, and . . . ah . . . never mind.

Re:Aw shucks (5, Funny)

JohnA (131062) | more than 11 years ago | (#4403969)

Don't you mean "Disney(R) Presents Goofy"?

Re:Aw shucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4403976)

I thought it was supposed to be Mickey, then Goofy!

Anyone else out there remember, "Mother Very Easily Made a Jam Sandwich Using No Peanuts, Mayonaise or Glue?"

Re:Aw shucks (5, Informative)

PD (9577) | more than 11 years ago | (#4403983)

It's pronounced Qwa O Wahr. Three syllables.

Re:Aw shucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4403988)

well, the other names they considered were "ogg", "gentoo", "vorbis", and "cinelerra", but those were already taken.

Is it really? (5, Informative)

joyoflinux (522023) | more than 11 years ago | (#4403824)

This article [theage.com.au] at TheAge disputes whether this object is really a planet...

Re:Is it really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4403845)

planetlet

Re:Is it really? (3, Informative)

gabec (538140) | more than 11 years ago | (#4403963)

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.

All your frozen worlds (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4403826)

belong to Uranus.

who comes up with these names? (2)

Lawmeister (201552) | more than 11 years ago | (#4403828)

I wonder if they just hammered on the computer to come up with this one.... random keys?

Not the cat chasing the mouse, that's for sure... (1)

El Jynx (548908) | more than 11 years ago | (#4403860)

...the keys are spaced a bit too far apart for that. Then again, maybe the pretentious feline in question was stalking on stilts? ;)

- Jynx

Will it stay named? (4, Interesting)

Astin (177479) | more than 11 years ago | (#4403830)

After all, they threatened to delist Pluto as a planet.

Re:Will it stay named? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4403879)

yes, but pluto managed to pull its stock up over $1, so it's still listed.

Re:Will it stay named? (2)

PD (9577) | more than 11 years ago | (#4403953)

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.

Re:Will it stay named? (2)

StrawberryFrog (67065) | more than 11 years ago | (#4403974)

Well sure. Some of the larger asteroids, e.g. Ceres, have names.

not official name (5, Funny)

Em Emalb (452530) | more than 11 years ago | (#4403835)

"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.

Re:not official name (1)

RobertNotBob (597987) | more than 11 years ago | (#4403878)

another vote for CowboyNeal

Re:not official name (1)

u-235-sentinel (594077) | more than 11 years ago | (#4403895)

Is this allowed?

Wouldn't it break some U.S. law? DRM perhaps?

Don't vote for anything unless you wish to risk jailtime ;-)

Re:not official name (1)

morgajel (568462) | more than 11 years ago | (#4403950)

I gotta cast my vote for cowboyneil as well.

Dimensions (4, Interesting)

red_dragon (1761) | more than 11 years ago | (#4403839)

... 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?

Re:Dimensions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4403898)

Both. Width and 'across' refer to different
measurements.

More important question: How does this affect
your life? I mean, let's suppose they were
off by 30.. what the fuck do you care?

Re:Dimensions (1)

lovebyte (81275) | more than 11 years ago | (#4403989)

Probably another attempt by NASA to convert miles into kilometers.

Blarney (5, Funny)

Shamanin (561998) | more than 11 years ago | (#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 is olod news... (1)

thoolie (442789) | more than 11 years ago | (#4403844)

I believe it was TIME magazine that reported this a number of months, if not a year or so ago, they claimed it to be "Planet X". It was first thought to be a moon of neptune (as was pluto thought to be a moon of neptune). But with the limited funding of our space program and recent cuts, I don't think that we will be hearing much of this planet, other than it is a planet.

Quaoar? (1, Redundant)

Rupert (28001) | more than 11 years ago | (#4403848)

Who thinks up these names? I would like to recite the names of the planets without it sounding like I had major dental surgery after Pluto.

And didn't they realize that people get upset when you prematurely abandon a naming convention? Those of you who work in server rooms must know this. There must be dozens of Roman gods with no celestial body named after them yet.

Ooh! I've got to see if the International Star Registry does planets. I know it's not official, but it'd be cool to have someone name a planet for you, even if it was only for your money.

Hah. (1)

El Jynx (548908) | more than 11 years ago | (#4403924)

To think we still name our planets after a set of decrepit Roman gods who no-one even believes in anymore (ah, wait, that's not entirely true, sorry about that CowboyNeal) is almost as ludicrous as wondering why the galaxies beyond our own have weird names like XR-0915. Scientists may be orderly, but they've got the poetic sense of a brick in a snowstorm. Me? I'd name the new planet Coca-cola after selling it to the same company.

- Jynx

Re:Quaoar? (1)

algae (2196) | more than 11 years ago | (#4403961)

There must be dozens of Roman gods with no celestial body named after them yet.

Roman Gods? Don't be silly. Everyone knows the next two planets after Pluto should be named Mickey and Goofy.

The most important solar system discovery... (2)

guttentag (313541) | more than 11 years ago | (#4403850)

>
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.

Re:The most important solar system discovery... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4403938)

What I am wondering about is what that discovery was in 1930 that was so important... Was it; Venus taking more days to spin around its axis as it does around the sun??

Hmm...

Frozen ball?!? (1)

El Jynx (548908) | more than 11 years ago | (#4403956)

That's what YOU know. My informants have just let me in on the secret as to WHY Quaoar's so important. It's made of rich, perfectly preserved, creamy 50+ better-than-french Brie.

- Jynx

Vanna White, help! (5, Funny)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 11 years ago | (#4403852)

Quaoar

Otherwise known as the Vowel Planet

Send it to Bosnia! (3, Funny)

wiredog (43288) | more than 11 years ago | (#4403900)

Support the Vowels For Bosnia [theonion.com] campaign!

Re:Vanna White, help! (5, Funny)

growlydog (589804) | more than 11 years ago | (#4403979)

Now... If we started calling it the Vowel Planet, and it somehow went out of its natural orbit, would that be called a "Vowel Movement"?

Re:Vanna White, help! (2, Funny)

warpup (611775) | more than 11 years ago | (#4403993)

The perfect puzzle for Wheel of Fortune. Sure the r will be guessed pretty quick, but who ever guesses Q? Even then, once all the vowels have been bought, chances are the person still wont be able to pronounce it...

MVEMJSUNP (5, Funny)

Squarewav (241189) | more than 11 years ago | (#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

Re:MVEMJSUNP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4403899)

My Very Energetic Mother Just Served Us Nine Pies...Quickly

Re:MVEMJSUNP (5, Funny)

Frodo2002 (595920) | more than 11 years ago | (#4403915)

My Very Energetic MOther Just Served Us Nine Pizzas Quickly/Quietly/Quantumly/Quaintly/....

Um, well it doen't solve the problem of 10 planets, but on the other hand we could leave it as "Nine". Just imagine our grandchildren will tell their children that the "Nine" is an artifact of history when people thought there were only nine planets in the Solar System...

Re:MVEMJSUNP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4403937)

'Q'uickly

Re:MVEMJSUNP (1)

trixillion (66374) | more than 11 years ago | (#4403954)

Quickly? Quietly? Poached Quails? Plain Quiches? Powerful Qualudes? Ah, never mind.

Re:MVEMJSUNP (1)

BabyDave (575083) | more than 11 years ago | (#4403957)

"... Quickly." After all, she is energetic.

Mind you, that's assuming that it's classified as a major planet. Since Pluto is twice the diameter and was possibly going to be reclassified as a planetoid (does anyone know the status of this?), I doubt that will happen.

Re:MVEMJSUNP (1)

gklyber (5133) | more than 11 years ago | (#4403970)

My Very Energetic Mother Just Served Us Nine Pizzas Quickly.

She is energetic...and would naturally serve them quickly.

Funny (2, Interesting)

enkidu55 (321423) | more than 11 years ago | (#4403859)

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!"

Glad.. (2)

Suppafly (179830) | more than 11 years ago | (#4403862)

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?

Can anyone think of a use for a new planet? (5, Funny)

ites (600337) | more than 11 years ago | (#4403867)

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?

Hah! Got it! (4, Funny)

ites (600337) | more than 11 years ago | (#4403894)

It's the SCRABBLE PLANET!
Someone just wants to sneak this word into the dictionary so that he can beat his aged grandmother at Scrabble.
This is the only possible reason for the name.

Pluto Not A Planet? (2)

Etriaph (16235) | more than 11 years ago | (#4403871)

How could Pluto not be considered a planetoid when it has a satellite (Charon)? Does this make any sense to anyone?

Re:Pluto Not A Planet? (3, Informative)

An Ominous Cow Erred (28892) | more than 11 years ago | (#4403996)

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.

Re:Pluto Not A Planet? (4, Informative)

Ektanoor (9949) | more than 11 years ago | (#4403997)

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.

Quaouo'eoaurion (1, Redundant)

tps12 (105590) | more than 11 years ago | (#4403876)

Since when did we start giving new heavenly bodies names out of pulp sci-fi? What was wrong with the whole Roman god motif?

Not to mention, shouldn't Quaroroaa be referred to as "beyond Neptune," since we pretty much just finished undiscovering Pluto? Maybe we should just call the new planet "Pluto" and forget about the old one.

How bout Bush? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4403881)

To symbolize how out there he really is?

Or just Goofy, the other Disney dog.

Most important discovery....???? (1)

Lunkwill_Fook (614346) | more than 11 years ago | (#4403892)

Can we PLEASE get on with the business of trying to, I don't know, learn stuff and stop trying to damn every damn ball of ice out there with your own personal politically correct name referring to an oppressed peoples? Let's turn Hubble around and point it at something like Jennifer Love Hewitt or something....

Planetary Names (1)

Professor_Quail (610443) | more than 11 years ago | (#4403903)

Interesting to note that if this object is in fact deemed a planet and they decide to keep the name 'Quaoar', it will be the first planet (not counting Earth) named for something other than a Roman deity.

classic 1) 2) ??? 3) profit!!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4403904)

1) Discover frozen planet beyond PLUTO
2) ?????
3) PROFIT!!!!

Great name! (5, Interesting)

Ravagin (100668) | more than 11 years ago | (#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! :)

Re:Great name! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4403992)

It's about time some other ancient belief systems got in on the planet-naming!

Why? Just wait till 2 more planets are discovered and they all get renamed after the 12 apostles. I bet you'd be wishing for Roman deities then...

Proposed name for planet... (1)

dperkins (63220) | more than 11 years ago | (#4403910)

Qwerty would be as good a name as what they have come up with, and since those indigenous people from LA are no longer around, we could use a word that is more meaningful to the current inhabitants...

Ok, my idea sucks just as bad as theirs.

Re:Proposed name for planet... (2, Funny)

dildatron (611498) | more than 11 years ago | (#4403972)

Another vote for Qwerty. So easy to type, no wonder it's #1!

Most important? Hmm... (0)

DirtyJ (576100) | more than 11 years ago | (#4403911)

What about the discovery of ice on Mars? Or the sub-surface ocean on Europa? Those seem pretty important to me.

No doubt there are lots and lots of big-a$$ objects in the Kuiper belt. More will be discovered in time.

More information on Kuiper Belt (1)

Sir Tandeth (543411) | more than 11 years ago | (#4403912)

here [hawaii.edu] and here [jhuapl.edu]

tenth planet (5, Funny)

Triv (181010) | more than 11 years ago | (#4403913)

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

All the astroids combined? (1)

Lazarus_Bitmap (593726) | more than 11 years ago | (#4403916)

Who came up with that comparison? And 'all' is bit broad, how about just the ones in our galaxy (which I assume is what they mean)? And even then, how do you wrap your brain around what all of them clustered together would look like?

It's like saying Mt. Kilimanjaro is about the size of all combined boulders. Huh?

Err.... it actually says "biggest find"... (2)

Lawmeister (201552) | more than 11 years ago | (#4403918)

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...

just doesn't sound the same (3, Funny)

rattler14 (459782) | more than 11 years ago | (#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 (3, Funny)

rppp01 (236599) | more than 11 years ago | (#4403921)

Prot was right! I knew it!

Now I know he was really an alien!

Lies! All lies and stretching truth! Pluto facts.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4403926)

Lies! All lies and stretching truth! Pluto facts currently show that pluto is actually TWO bodies in close orbit around each other and that the old "discoverer" was wrong.

And... here is the good part... THE DEFINITION OF "PLANET" is currentl purely based on mass size.

This rules out both parts of fake-pluto for some astronomers!!... and TOTALLY rules out large asteroids like the one just mentioned in this article.

This article should never have been posted. Its not science fact.

Re:Lies! All lies and stretching truth! Pluto fact (2, Insightful)

Frodo2002 (595920) | more than 11 years ago | (#4403984)

And so, what is the earth and the moon if not two bodies in close orbit around each other? Ya think the earth isn't orbiting around the moon? Think again brother.

Secondly, what alternative definition would you suggest for a planet other than that it has to be massive enough? (And probably be in orbit around the sun...which is kind of trivially obvious I guess.)

A Little Perspective? (2, Insightful)

yndrd (529288) | more than 11 years ago | (#4403929)

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.

Re:A Little Perspective? (1)

Lunkwill_Fook (614346) | more than 11 years ago | (#4403948)

How about finding organic material on space debris? That would also have to top Mr. Tenth Ice Ball.

Prot Was Right (0)

The_Rippa (181699) | more than 11 years ago | (#4403934)

I knew he was really from K-Pax

An object... (1)

nenolod (546272) | more than 11 years ago | (#4403936)

And on this object, there is presently a bunch of ice. Ok, so why not call it Iceworld or something? Or, it is the tenth planet, so they should actually call it Planet X. This could also be tied into the recent plans to send a probe to europa to drill through the ice and look for life in the very cold water under the ice. Anyway, that's about all I have to say about it.

Quaoar is California Spelling of American Indian N (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4403941)

For those who can't use Google:

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

http://www.angelfire.com/journal/cathbodua/Gods/Qg ods.html [angelfire.com]

Is Quaoar an obscure god? (2, Interesting)

Prince_Ali (614163) | more than 11 years ago | (#4403943)

Why abandon a perfectly good naming convention? How about Vulcan?

maybe this will explain the name? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4403944)

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

http://www.angelfire.com/journal/cathbodua/Gods/ Qg ods.html

Does the good Doctor know? (2)

Zwack (27039) | more than 11 years ago | (#4403947)

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.

Quaoar???? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4403949)

Was this planet discovered by a bunch of Hawaiians?

Consonants people, use them.

Q: What was the discovery 72 years ago? (2)

flogger (524072) | more than 11 years ago | (#4403951)

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.

More articles that cover this story (1)

theBrownfury (570265) | more than 11 years ago | (#4403952)

Google news has all the articles linking to this story. Available here. [google.com]

Wrong Name (1)

BlindSpot (512363) | more than 11 years ago | (#4403958)

They're supposed to name it Persephone, although we'll all end up calling it Rupert, after some astronomer's parrot.

Re:Wrong Name (1)

Lunkwill_Fook (614346) | more than 11 years ago | (#4403968)

You know, Mostly Harmless was actually, I felt, a clever little book.... (IE. HA! I GOT YOUR REFERENCE!!!)

More Naming Crap (2)

spudwiser (124577) | more than 11 years ago | (#4403973)

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.

it should be named after the douglas adams subject (2, Interesting)

havaloc (50551) | more than 11 years ago | (#4403981)

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.

Call me a pedant, but ... (1)

DonalGraeme (171589) | more than 11 years ago | (#4403985)

... that should be the Sydney MORNING Herald, not the "Sydney Herald".

A bit late, dudes (1)

fudgefactor7 (581449) | more than 11 years ago | (#4403991)

This "discovery" was made LONG ago. They just never nailed down the exact trajectory it took around the Sun. They called it something else, so we'll see which name wins, the new or the old. And since it lies in the Kuiper Belt, it's probably just an asteroid anyways. In a few days/weeks we'll know more; and if this turns out to be more than an asteroid I'd be amazed. Plus an object that size doesn't explain Pluto's eccentric orbit. Not enough mass.

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