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9.14.2006

Eris -- the almost planet

It looks like the dwarf planet that caused the recent controversy over what makes a planet a planet has been given a name -- Eris, appropriately named after the goddess of Strife and Discord. Somewhat larger than Pluto, the dwarf planet formerly known as "Xena" raised concern that there could be potentially hundreds of other planet in the outer solar system.

After debating back and forth, and at one point defining everything larger than Ceres as a planet, astronmers settled on a definition that demoted Pluto and shut the door on planet Eris (and Ceres).

So long planet Eris, we barely knew you.

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