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©2005 by Richard Nolle

WOW!AUG 1, 2005 - Astronomers Discover "10th Planet" is Sky & Telescope's brief introductory article on the newly announced large Kuiper Belt Object known as 2003 UB313, popularly called the "Tenth Planet." Larger than Pluto, with an orbital period on the order of twice as long, this newly-found denizen of the outer solar system plies a highly elliptical and sharply inclined orbit out along the far flung frontiers of the Sun's planetary host. 2003 UB313 moves so very slowly that everyone now alive was born with it either in late Pisces or early to mid Aries - the transition having come in the 1920s. Word is that the discoverers plan to request that their newfound orb be named Xena, in honor of the fictional warrior princess in the TV series. But Mercury being intersolar and all, that might be just a ruse . . . we shall see.

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