NASA announced that the Hubble Space Telescope has successfully measured the “10th Planet” and found it to be 1,490 miles, only slightly larger than its neighbor Pluto at 1,422 miles wide. Planetary Scientist at CalTech Mike Brown led the team that recently discovered the newly nicknamed “Xena.” The measurements were snapped in visible light photos taken Dec. 9 and 10, 2005, and just accepted for publication in the Astrophysical Journal. Thankfully, Brown chose the name Xena over space alien Xenu, who has also recently been in the news.
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“The universe is teeming with planets,” and Jeremy Kasdin, an astronomer at Princeton University, wants to see them. Not in the way they’ve been detected so far, but directly. He wants to build a space telescope that will image a planet around another star and tell if it harbors life. There is probably one per star […]
Astronomer Andrew Connolly begins by telling us that in 1781, English composer, technologist and composer Sir William Herschel noticed something unusual, a little bit of data that was wrong. This was the discovery of a new planet, Uranus. (“A name that has entertained countelss generations of children.”) Just last week NASA announced 517 new planets, almost doubled […]