Friday, April 16, 2010

Pluto joined by up to 50 more dwarf planets

SYDNEY: The status of former planet Pluto has taken another blow, with new research suggesting up to 50 known objects may also meet the criteria to be dwarf planets.

To be labelled as a dwarf planet, an object must meet two criteria, as determined by the International Astronomical Union (IAU): they must be 'nearly round' and they must orbit the Sun.

Until now, however, the point at which 'potato-shaped' planets become 'nearly round' has not been formally defined, said astronomer Charley Lineweaver from Australian National University (ANU) in Canberra.

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