facebook
twitter
rss
account
search
search
 

Dwarf planet may not be bigger than Pluto

Oct. 13, 2011 at 8:30 PM   |   Comments

| License Photo
NANTES, France, Oct. 13 (UPI) -- The dwarf planet Eris, responsible for Pluto's demotion from planet status in 2006, is not bigger than Pluto and may even be smaller, French scientists say.

When Eris was discovered in 2005, Hubble Space Telescope images suggested its diameter was about 1,500 miles, about 5 percent bigger than that of Pluto.

Astronomers got a chance last November to refine the measurements when Eris passed directly in front of a distant star, NewScientist.com reported.

Bruno Sicardy of the Paris Observatory and colleagues took measurements from two different sites in Chile, and found Eris' diameter is 1,400 miles, almost exactly the same as the best measurements suggest is true of Pluto.

"It could be smaller, it could be larger; basically, it is a twin," Sicardy said Oct. 4 at a Division of Planetary Sciences meeting in Nantes, France.

Eris remains the heavyweight of the dwarf planets, however, with much more mass than Pluto, he said.

© 2011 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.
Most Popular
1
Android phones to join iPhone in saying no to the police Android phones to join iPhone in saying no to the police
2
Latest Ebola outbreak spreading much faster than in the past Latest Ebola outbreak spreading much faster than in the past
3
Physicists teleport photon over 15 miles Physicists teleport photon over 15 miles
4
Shellfish-inspired waterproof glue could help repair ships Shellfish-inspired waterproof glue could help repair ships
5
Pennsylvania officials issue $4.15 million fine to fracking company Pennsylvania officials issue $4.15 million fine to fracking company
Trending News
Video
x
Feedback