Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Xena Slightly Larger Than Pluto Authentic NASA Toys and Replicas
Apparently Hubble has discovered that object 2003 UB313, nick named "Xena" by Mike Brown is slightly larger than Pluto.

(NASA) Though previous ground-based observations suggested that Xena's diameter was about 30 percent greater than Pluto, Hubble observations taken Dec. 9 and 10, 2005, showed Xena's diameter as 1,490 miles (with an uncertainty of 60 miles).

Pluto's diameter, as measured by Hubble, is 1,422 miles.

Xena lies roughly ten billion miles away from Earth and is an unlikely spot for a colony world. Although most people probably will not care about how large Xena is, the findings by Hubble do challenge what our idea of what a planet is in general.

After all, if Pluto is a planet, then so is Xena, and there could be a hundred worlds like it orbiting our solar system.

(Live Science) [W]e now know there are a handful of other offbeat worlds almost as large as Pluto. Estimates suggest there are hundreds of Pluto-sized worlds out there waiting to be spotted.

If 2003 UB313 [Xena] gains planet status, we'll instantly have so many planets that kids won't be able to memorize them all. Worse, the list will be a lie, made up of eight bona-fide planets and dozens of compounded mistakes. That's not science.

Although Pluto and Xena may be the "odd balls left out," classifying both of them as a planetary object may be a necessary evil. Pluto is already ingrained in our minds as a world of its own and despite the disappointment that Xena was not "fatter" than expected, she may be the newest member to join the planetary club.

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You can either visit the stars or watch them from afar.

But if you choose the former, you'll definitely get a better view.

~Darnell Clayton, 2007

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