Xena, warrior ... dwarf planet?

The entire universe in blog form
March 29 2009 8:00 AM

Xena, warrior ... dwarf planet?

Back in 2005, astronomer Mike Brown discovered an object in the outer solar system that turned out to be bigger and more massive than Pluto, and in no small way led to Pluto being booted from the Democratic Order Of Planets.

Tongue in cheek, he and his team nicknamed the planet Xena. When a moon was discovered, of course they named it Gabrielle. Eventually, once the orbit was properly determined, the IAU gave Mike the right to name them officially, so he went with Eris and Dysnomia.

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Fast forward to last year. I was at Comic Con, and sneaked into the SciFi channel's party (which is a whole story in itself). I got to get some interviews with the celebs there, and who did I see but Renee O'Conner, Gabrielle herself! So I caught her attention, and this is the result:


Phil Plait writes Slate’s Bad Astronomy blog and is an astronomer, public speaker, science evangelizer, and author of Death From the Skies!