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Pluto - Now Even More on the Cosmic "D-list"
Pluto - Now Even More on the Cosmic "D-list"
14 Sep 2006
(Source: International Astronomical Union)

Ever since the International Astronomical Union (IAU) reclassified the once proud planet Pluto to dwarf planet status on August 24, 2006, Pluto has been reduced to the equivalent of the "D-list" among its celebrity A-list celestial neighbors, Mercury, Earth, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune.

Now, Pluto has been given the title of a telephone number - "134340 Pluto" and lumped among 136,562 asteroids and other small bodies by the Minor Planet Center (MPC), part of the Paris-headquartered International Astronomical Union (IAU).

Pluto's satellites, Charon, Nix and Hydra, have been numbered 134340 I, 134340 II and 134340 III respectively under the latest minor planet list, compiled on September 7.

In addition, 2003 UB 313, also informally known as Xena, has been numbered as well - 136199, and officially named Eris by the IAU. Its satellite, formerly known as S/2005 (2003 UB313), has now officially been named Dysnomia, and is catalogued (136199) Eris I.

Reference: Green, Daniel, W. September 13, 2006. Circular No. 8747 Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams, INTERNATIONAL ASTRONOMICAL UNION, Mailstop 18, Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.

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