Pluto dumped by astronomers from list of planets
Ceres, the largest asteroid in a belt of thousands between Mars and Jupiter, and 2003 UB313, a body about the size of Pluto discovered in January 2005, were also added to the new dwarf class. More dwarf planets „are expected to be announced in the coming months and years,” the union said. „Astronomers will have a new class of objects to study and that's always fun,” said Laura Layton, associate editor of Astronomy magazine. And science textbook writers „are going to be busy.” For some, including the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the new classification is just administrative housekeeping. The IAU is responsible for naming newly discovered objects, and bases those names on what type of body it is, said Steve Maran, spokesman for the American Astronomical Society. NASA's New Horizons spacecraft launched in January on a nine-year journey to Pluto, at the time the only of the nine planets that hadn't been included in a space mission. „We will continue pursuing exploration of the most scientifically interesting objects in the solar system, regardless of how they are categorized,” said Paul Hertz, chief scientist for the space mission directorate in an e-mail statement. (Bloomberg)
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