Monday, August 24, 2009

Dwarf Planets

Three years ago today, Pluto, Ceres and Eris were conferred Dwarf Planet Status by the I.A.U.

Three (Eris, Haumea and Makemake) of the five (a 60% majority!) worlds that have been proclaimed as dwarf planets so far have been discovered at Palomar Observatory by Caltech's Mike Brown and his colleagues. So, as you might imagine, we have a have a special place in our hearts for dwarf planets here at Palomar. You can even buy a squeezable dwarf planet of your very own in the observatory's gift shop.

Back on the serious side, Dr. Brown argues that there should be a whole lot more than just five dwarf planets. Be sure to check out his page on dwarf planets, where he gives a full rundown on what a dwarf planet is (trust me, they are a lot bigger than what I have been showing here) and which other worlds should be added to the list.

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