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“Plutoids” – Official Nomenclature Per IAU Decision

Posted by Lydia on June 12th, 2008

It’s official! An IAU committee in Oslo has now determined that all “small, nearly spherical objects orbiting beyond Neptune” will officially be called plutoids. Since Pluto’s demotion in 2006, the IAU has been disputing the correct classification for planets beyond Neptune. With the potential discovery of more orbiting bodies by modern high powered equipment, the IAU implies that it is important to maintain only eight planets in our solar system. So far, only Pluto and Eris have been branded as “plutoids”. Ceres does not fall under this category due to its location between Mars and Jupiter. This new discussion, of course, has reopened psychological Pluto demoting wounds caused by the IAU two years ago.

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