[star]The American Mind[star]

September 17, 2006

Eris' Name Fits

The astronomical object that caused astronomers to define what a planet is and demote Pluto has been given the "perfect name" according to its discoverer:

Eris is the new permanent name for the solar body formerly known as Xena, while Pluto’s new number reflects its loss of planetary status.

Dr. Michael E. Brown, a professor of planetary astronomy at the California Institute of Technology who discovered the distant ball of ice and rock that he nicknamed Xena and that had been designated 2003 UB313, chose the name Eris, after the goddess of discord and strife in Greek mythology.

“It is absolutely the perfect name,” Dr. Brown said, given the continuing discord among astronomers and the public over whether Pluto should have retained its planetary status.

In mythology, Eris ignited discord that led to the Trojan War.

“She causes strife by causing arguments among men, by making them think their opinions are right and everyone else’s is wrong,” Dr. Brown said. “It really is just perfect.”

"Dwarf Planet, Cause of Strife, Gains ‘the Perfect Name’"

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Posted by Sean Hackbarth in Miscellaneous at 01:33 AM | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)