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Newly discovered planet also has a moon

Oct. 3, 2005 at 12:14 PM   |   Comments

KAMEULA, Hawaii, Oct. 3 (UPI) -- The planet discovered on the edge of the solar system in July by three astronomers, has been found to have a moon.

The planet, nicknamed Xena after the warrior princess heroine of the television series, is about 20 percent larger than Pluto and 9 billion miles from the Sun, the London Telegraph reported Monday.

The moon, 100 times fainter than Xena and orbiting once every couple of weeks, was spotted Sept. 10 at the W.M. Keck Observatory, located at the summit of Hawaii's dormant Mauna Kea volcano, by Michael Brown of the California Institute of Technology. He, along with astronomers Chadwick Trujillo of the University of Hawaii and David Rabinovitz of Yale University, discovered Xena, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

"Having a moon is something that most self-respecting planets have, so it is good to see that this one does too," Brown said.

Topics: Mauna Kea
© 2005 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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