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Official name announced for "Xena"
Posted: Thu, Sep 14, 2006, 9:36 PM ET (0136 GMT)
2003 UB313 illustration (NASA/JPL) The International Astronomical Union (IAU) announced this week that it has selected an official name for 2003 UB313, the "dwarf planet" discovered last year that is bigger than Pluto. The object, unofficially called "Xena" after the lead character of a TV show, is now officially called Eris, the Greek goddess of discord and strife. The dwarf planet's moon, which had been unofficially named Gabrielle, is now known as Dysnomia, the daughter of Eris and the spirit of lawlessness. Eris was once also colloquially known as the tenth planet because at the time of its discovery it was bigger than Pluto. Although Eris is still believed to be larger than Pluto, both worlds were classified as "dwarf planets" last month by the IAU, a decision that his created some degree of controversy.
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