Monday, September 04, 2006

My Big Fat Greek Planets.

Greek astronomers are riled about the free and easy naming of Trans-Neptunian Objects in recent years. They are specifically unhappy with the unofficial name of 2003 UB313, "Xena." (Here.) Greek chauvinism, sure, but they have a point. How about that dwarf planet, "Quaoar." Go ahead, pronounce it, I dare you. But if the IAU's definition of planet remains the law, it won't matter whether dwarf planets get their names from Greek mythology or not. Nobody will care one way or the other because the discoveries won't be real planets.

-tdr

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