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Encyclopedia > 2003 UB313
2003 UB313
2003 UB313 (centre) and moon (right of centre).Keck Observatory.
2003 UB313 (centre) and moon (right of centre).
Keck Observatory.
Discovery A
Discoverer Michael E. Brown,
Chad Trujillo,
David L. Rabinowitz
Discovery date October 21, 2003
Alternate
designations
B
officially none; informally Xena
Category Trans-Neptunian object
(Scattered disc object)
Orbital elements C
Epoch March 6, 2006 (JD 2453800.5)
Eccentricity (e) 0.44177
Semi-major axis (a) 67.6681 AU (10.12 Tm)
Perihelion (q) 37.77 AU (5.65 Tm)
Aphelion (Q) 97.56 AU (14.60 Tm)
Orbital period (P) 203,500 d (557 a)
Mean orbital speed 3.436 km/s
Inclination (i) 44.187°
Longitude of the
ascending node
(Ω)
35.8696°
Argument of
perihelion
(ω)
151.4305°
Mean anomaly (M) 197.63427°
Physical characteristics D
Dimensions diameter 3,000 ±400 km (best fit 3090 km if it rotates quickly, and 2860 km if slowly)[1][2]
Mass  ?×10? kg
Density  ? g/cm³
Surface gravity  ? m/s²
Escape velocity  ? km/s
Rotation period > 8 h?
Spectral class  ?
Absolute magnitude -1.2
Albedo ~0.55 ± 0.15 [3]
Mean surface
temperature
~30 K

2003 UB313 is a trans-Neptunian object (TNO) believed to be larger than the planet Pluto. It has been dubbed the tenth planet by its Mount Palomar-based discovery team, NASA, and some media outlets. The International Astronomical Union (IAU) is scheduled to publish the definition of the term "planet" in early September 2006, which will determine whether 2003 UB313 is classified as a planet. [4] Image File history File links Xenaandgabrielle. ... Dr. Michael (Mike) E. Brown has been an associate professor of planetary astronomy at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) since 2002. ... Chadwick A. Chad Trujillo (born November 22, 1973) is a postdoctoral scholar at Caltech researching the Kuiper belt and the outer solar system. ... David Lincoln Rabinowitz (born 1960) is a researcher at Yale University studying the Kuiper belt and the outer solar system. ... October 21 is the 294th day of the year (295th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 71 days remaining. ... 2003 (MMIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... The provisional designation of comets and asteroids are similar to each other: they both follow a pattern set in 1925 by the Minor Planet Center of the IAU. Historical designations At first, astronomers strove to assign symbols to the minor planets: 1 Ceres a stylized sickle 2 Pallas a lozenge... For the name see Xenia. ... Minor planets, or planetoids are minor bodies of the Solar system orbiting the Sun (or of other planetary systems orbiting other stars) that are larger than meteoroids (the largest of which might be taken to be around 10 meters or so across) but smaller than major planets (Mercury having a... A trans-Neptunian object (TNO) is any object in the solar system which orbits the sun at a greater distance on average than Neptune. ... A scattered disk object (or scattered disc object or SDO) is a trans-Neptunian object of the Kuiper belt with a very eccentric orbit. ... In astronomy, an epoch is a moment in time for which celestial coordinates or orbital elements are specified. ... March 6 is the 65th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (66th in Leap years). ... 2006 (MMVI) is a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... The Julian day or Julian day number (JDN) is the number of days that have elapsed since 12 noon Greenwich Mean Time (UT or TT) on Monday, January 1, 4713 BC in the proleptic Julian calendar . ... In astrodynamics, under standard assumptions any orbit must be of conic section shape. ... In geometry, the semi-major axis (also semimajor axis) a applies to ellipses and hyperbolas. ... The astronomical unit (AU or au or a. ... Tera (symbol: T) is a prefix in the SI system of units denoting 1012, or 1 000 000 000 000. ... The metre (Commonwealth English) or meter (American English) (symbol: m) is the SI base unit of length. ... This article is about several astronomical terms (apogee & perigee, aphelion & perihelion, generic equivalents based on apsis, and related but rarer terms. ... This article is about several astronomical terms (apogee & perigee, aphelion & perihelion, generic equivalents based on apsis, and related but rarer terms. ... The orbital period is the time it takes a planet (or another object) to make one full orbit. ... A day (symbol: d) is a unit of time equal to 24 hours. ... In astronomy, a Julian year is a unit of time defined as exactly 365. ... The orbital speed of a body, generally a planet, a natural satellite, an artificial satellite, or a multiple star, is the speed at which it orbits around the barycenter of a system, usually around a more massive body. ... Look up second in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Inclination in general is the angle between a reference plane and another plane or axis of direction. ... A degree (in full, a degree of arc, arc degree, or arcdegree), usually symbolized °, is a measurement of plane angle, representing 1/360 of a full rotation. ... The Longitude of the ascending node () is one of the orbital elements used to specify the orbit of an object in space. ... The argument of the perihelion is one of the orbital elements describing the orbit of a planet. ... In the study of orbital dynamics the mean anomaly is a measure of time, specific to the orbiting body p, which is a multiple of 2π radians at and only at periapsis. ... For the majority of numbered asteroids, almost nothing is known apart from a few physical parameters. ... Mass is a property of a physical object that quantifies the amount of matter it contains. ... The international prototype, made of platinum-iridium, which is kept at the BIPM under conditions specified by the 1st CGPM in 1889. ... Density (symbol: ρ - Greek: rho) is a measure of mass per unit of volume. ... A cubic centimetre (cm3) is an SI derived unit of volume, equal to the volume of a cube with side length of 1 centi metre. ... Gravity is a force of attraction that acts between bodies that have mass. ... In physics, for a given gravitational field and a given position, the escape velocity is the minimum speed an object without propulsion, at that position, needs to have to move away indefinitely from the source of the field, as opposed to falling back or staying in an orbit within a... In astronomy, a rotation period is the time an astronomical object takes to complete one revolution around its rotation axis. ... Asteroids are assigned a type based on spectral shape, color, and sometimes albedo. ... In astronomy, absolute magnitude is the apparent magnitude, m, an object would have if it were at a standard luminosity distance away from us. ... The albedo is a measure of reflectivity of a surface or body. ... Temperature is the physical property of a system which underlies the common notions of hot and cold; the material with the higher temperature is said to be hotter. ... The kelvin (symbol: K) is the SI unit of temperature, and is one of the seven SI base units. ... A trans-Neptunian object (TNO) is any object in the solar system which orbits the sun at a greater distance on average than Neptune. ... A planet is generally considered to be a relatively large mass of accreted matter in orbit around a star that is not a star itself. ... Atmospheric characteristics Atmospheric pressure 0. ... Ever since the discovery of Pluto, the existence of a tenth planet has been speculated by astronomers and the general public alike. ... Palomar Observatory is a privately-owned observatory located in San Diego County, California, 90 miles (145 km) southeast of Mount Wilson Observatory, on Palomar Mountain. ... NASA logo Listen to this article · (info) This audio file was created from an article revision dated 2005-09-01, and does not reflect subsequent edits to the article. ... Logo of the IAU The International Astronomical Union (French: Union astronomique internationale) unites national astronomical societies from around the world. ... Although planets are the principal component of the solar system other than the Sun, a precise definition of the term is surprisingly elusive. ...


2003 UB313 orbits the sun in a region of space known as the scattered disc accompanied by at least one moon; the pair are currently the most distant known objects in our solar system. Recent thermal observations by astrophysicists at IRAM have determined the object's diameter to be in the range of 2600 to 3400 km and its albedo to be 40-70% [5]. The Brown team expects to have a better size estimate soon, and meanwhile has detected methane ice on the object's surface. These observations suggest that 2003 UB313 is more similar to Pluto than any previously known body. The scattered disc (or scattered disk) is a distant region of our solar system, thinly populated by icy planetoids known as scattered disk objects (SDOs), a subset of the broader family of trans-Neptunian objects (TNOs). ... Moons of solar system scaled to Earths Moon The common noun moon (not capitalized) is used to mean any natural satellite of the other planets. ... Presentation of the solar system (not to scale) The solar system comprises the Earths Sun and the retinue of celestial objects gravitationally bound to it. ... The Institut de Radio Astronomie Millimétrique cofounded the Plateau de Bure Interferometer, one of the most successful millimeter-wave radio telescope arrays in the world. ... R-phrases S-phrases , , , Flash point −188 °C Autoignition temperature 537 °C Explosive limits 5–15% Supplementary data page Structure and properties Thermodynamic data Spectral data UV, IR, NMR, MS Related compounds Related alkanes Ethane Propane Related compounds Methanol Chloromethane Except where noted otherwise, data are given for materials in...


A ruling on what to name 2003 UB313 is currently being delayed pending a decision on whether it qualifies as a planet or not. 2003 UB313's discoverers have confidentially submitted potential names to the IAU, who oversee astronomical naming conventions. Claims that 2003 UB313 has been officially named 'Xena' or 'Lila' are incorrect; 'Xena' is an informal codename used by its discoverers among themselves, and 'Lila' is a name in the address of the website where the object was announced, after the newly-born daughter of one of the discoverers. Neither name was submitted to the IAU. In ancient times, only the Sun and Moon, a few hundred stars and the most easily visible planets had names. ... For the name see Xenia. ...

Contents


Discovery

Time-lapse images showing the movement of 2003 UB313 (circled) against the stars.
Time-lapse images showing the movement of 2003 UB313 (circled) against the stars.

2003 UB313 was discovered by the team of Michael Brown, Chad Trujillo, and David Rabinowitz on January 5, 2005 from images taken on October 21, 2003. The discovery was announced on July 29, 2005, the same day as two other large TNOs, 2003 EL61 and 2005 FY9. The search team has been systematically scanning for large outer solar system bodies for several years, and had previously been involved in the discovery of several other very large trans-Neptunian objects, including 50000 Quaoar, 90482 Orcus, and 90377 Sedna. Image File history File links 2003_UB313_opname. ... Image File history File links 2003_UB313_opname. ... Dr. Michael (Mike) E. Brown has been an associate professor of planetary astronomy at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) since 2002. ... Chadwick A. Chad Trujillo (born November 22, 1973) is a postdoctoral scholar at Caltech researching the Kuiper belt and the outer solar system. ... David Lincoln Rabinowitz (born 1960) is a researcher at Yale University studying the Kuiper belt and the outer solar system. ... January 5 is the 5th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ... October 21 is the 294th day of the year (295th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 71 days remaining. ... 2003 (MMIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... July 29 is the 210th day (211th in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian Calendar, with 155 days remaining. ... 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ... The title of this article is incorrect due to technical limitations. ... 2005 FY9 (also written 2005 FY9), codenamed Easterbunny by its discoverers, is a very large Kuiper belt object discovered on March 31, 2005 by the team led by Michael Brown. ... Artists impression by G. Bacon of STScI / NASA 50000 Quaoar (pronounced kwah·war, kwah·wor, or kwow·ur, Tongva ) [1] is a Trans-Neptunian object orbiting the Sun in the Edgeworth-Kuiper belt. ... 90482 Orcus (originally known by the provisional designation 2004 DW) is a Kuiper Belt object (KBO) that was discovered by Michael Brown of Caltech, Chad Trujillo of the Gemini Observatory, and David Rabinowitz of Yale University. ... 90377 Sedna is a trans-Neptunian object, discovered by Michael Brown (Caltech), Chad Trujillo (Gemini Observatory) and David Rabinowitz (Yale University) on November 14, 2003. ...


Routine observations were taken by the team on October 21, 2003 using the 48-inch Samuel Oschin reflecting telescope at Mount Palomar Observatory, California, but the object captured on the images was not discovered at that point due to its very slow motion across the sky: the team's automatic image searching software excluded all objects moving at less than 1.5 arcseconds per hour to reduce the number of false positives returned. However, when 90377 Sedna was discovered it was moving at 1.75 arcsec/hour, and in light of that the team decided to reanalyze their old data with a lower limit on the angular motion, sorting through the false positives by eye. In January 2005, this re-analysis revealed 2003 UB313's slow motion against the background stars. October 21 is the 294th day of the year (295th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 71 days remaining. ... 2003 (MMIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Mid-19th century tool for converting between different standards of the inch An inch is an Imperial and U.S. customary unit of length. ... Ritchey 24 reflecting telescope A reflecting telescope (reflector) is an optical telescope which uses mirrors to reflect light, rather than lenses to pass light. ... Palomar Observatory is a privately-owned observatory located in San Diego County, California, 90 miles (145 km) southeast of Mount Wilson Observatory, on Palomar Mountain. ... Official language(s) English Capital Sacramento Largest city Los Angeles Area  - Total  - Width  - Length  - % water  - Latitude  - Longitude Ranked 3rd 410,000 km² 402. ... A second of arc or arcsecond is a unit of angular measurement which comprises one-sixtieth of an arcminute, or 1/3600 of a degree of arc or 1/1296000 ≈ 7. ... A false positive, also called false alarm, exists when a test reports, incorrectly, that it has found a signal where none exists in reality. ... The Pleiades star cluster A star is a massive body of plasma in outer space that is currently producing or has produced energy through nuclear fusion. ...


Follow-up observations were then carried out to make a preliminary determination of its orbit, which allowed its distance and size to be estimated. The team had planned to delay announcing their discovery until further observations had been made which would have allowed more accurate determinations of the body's size and mass, but were forced to bring forward the announcement when the discovery of another object they had been tracking (2003 EL61) was announced by another group in Spain. Brown's group later accused the Spanish group of a serious breach of ethics in connection with the discovery of 2003 EL61 and asked that they be stripped of credit for its discovery (see the 2003 EL61 or Michael E. Brown articles for details). In physics, an orbit is the path that an object makes, around another object, whilst under the influence of a source of centripetal force, such as gravity. ... The title of this article is incorrect due to technical limitations. ... The title of this article is incorrect due to technical limitations. ... Dr. Michael (Mike) E. Brown has been an associate professor of planetary astronomy at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) since 2002. ...


Yet more observations released in October 2005 revealed that the object had a moon, S/2005 (2003 UB313) 1, nicknamed "Gabrielle." Scientists plan to use this information to determine the mass of 2003 UB313.
2003 UB313 is a trans-Neptunian object (TNO) believed to be larger than the planet Pluto. ... Gabrielle, as she appeared in the earlier episodes of Xena. ...


Classification

Animation showing the movement of 2003 UB313 on the images used to discover it. 2003 UB313 is located on the left side, slightly above the middle of the image. The three frames were taken over a period of three hours.

2003 UB313 is classified as a scattered disk object (SDO), a category of TNO which are believed to have been "scattered" from the Kuiper belt and into more distant and unusual orbits following gravitational interactions with Neptune as the solar system was forming. Although its high orbital inclination is unusual among the current known SDOs, theoretical models suggest that objects which were originally near the inner edge of the Kuiper belt are scattered into orbits with higher inclinations than objects from the outer belt. Inner belt objects are expected to be generally more massive than outer belt objects, and so astronomers expect to discover more large objects like 2003 UB313 in high-inclination orbits. Image File history File links Animation of the images from which 2003 UB313 was discovered. ... Image File history File links Animation of the images from which 2003 UB313 was discovered. ... The scattered disc (or scattered disk) is a distant region of our solar system, thinly populated by icy planetoids known as scattered disk objects (SDOs), a subset of the broader family of trans-Neptunian objects (TNOs). ... Artists rendering of the Kuiper Belt and hypothetical more distant Oort cloud. ... Atmospheric characteristics Surface pressure ≫100 MPa Hydrogen - H2 80% ±3. ...


As 2003 UB313 is larger than Pluto, it might come to be considered as the tenth planet in the Solar system, and was initially described as such by NASA and in media reports of its discovery. However, this is not a given, since the status of Pluto as a planet has been subject to debate for some time. Astronomers believe that there may be other TNOs as large as or larger than Pluto, and that Pluto and 2003 UB313 may eventually merge in with other Kuiper belt objects the way that Ceres and Vesta merged into the asteroid belt. Atmospheric characteristics Atmospheric pressure 0. ... NASA logo Listen to this article · (info) This audio file was created from an article revision dated 2005-09-01, and does not reflect subsequent edits to the article. ...


The IAU has been reviewing the definition of the term 'planet' because of the increasing expectation that something bigger than Pluto would be found. The IAU was expected to move quickly to promulgate a definition, [6] but this is now uncertain because no consensus was reached. [7] Until this definition is available, the IAU will continue to regard all objects discovered at a distance greater than 40 AU as part of the general Trans-Neptunian population. [8] Although planets are the principal component of the solar system other than the Sun, a precise definition of the term is surprisingly elusive. ...


The president of the IAU's working group to define the term planet has proposed that Pluto keep its present classification for historical reasons, and that nothing else be named a planet. [9] This view is shared by at least one other member of the group. [10] Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ...


Recently, the IAU announced that it would be publishing the definition of a planet in early September 2006, thus clarifying the status of 2003 UB313. [11]


Name

The object currently has the provisional designation 2003 UB313, granted automatically according to the IAU's naming protocols for minor planets. The next step in the object's identification will be the external verification of its orbit and assignment of a permanent designation number. Should 2003 UB313 be treated as any other minor planet, its discoverers will then have the exclusive right to propose a name during a ten year window that begins with its permanent numbering, subject to the approval of the Committee on Small Bodies Nomenclature of the IAU's Division III. According to the IAU rules, TNOs must be named after deities of creation, with the exception of plutinos, which are named after underworld deities. The provisional designation of comets and asteroids are similar to each other: they both follow a pattern set in 1925 by the Minor Planet Center of the IAU. Historical designations At first, astronomers strove to assign symbols to the minor planets: 1 Ceres a stylized sickle 2 Pallas a lozenge... Minor planets, or planetoids are minor bodies of the Solar system orbiting the Sun (or of other planetary systems orbiting other stars) that are larger than meteoroids (the largest of which might be taken to be around 10 meters or so across) but smaller than major planets (Mercury having a... A deity or a god, is a postulated preternatural being, usually, but not always, of significant power, worshipped, thought holy, divine, or sacred, held in high regard, or respected by human beings. ... Look up Creation in Wiktionary, the free dictionary Creation is the following: Generally, creation is the act or result of bringing something into existence from nothing at all. ... In astronomy, a plutino is a trans-Neptunian object that has a 3:2 orbital resonance with Neptune. ... // In the study of mythology and religion, the underworld is a generic term approximately equivalent to the lay term afterlife, referring to any place to which newly dead souls go. ...


The potential for the object's classification as a major planet, however, may well force a deviation from adhering to the same steps, timelines and approval procedures as those that apply to garden-variety asteroids and comets. The IAU has released a short statement regarding the naming of 2003 UB313, indicating the object will not be named until it has been decided if it is a planet or not. [12]


The discoverers have already submitted their name proposal for 2003 UB313, which under IAU rules cannot be publicly disclosed. Brown's team had violated this rule in 2003 when they announced the name "Sedna" for that planetoid before it had officially been approved, prompting some criticism within the astronomical community; the IAU later relaxed its rules and permitted an expedited process for major new discoveries. [13] 90377 Sedna is a trans-Neptunian object, discovered by Michael Brown (Caltech), Chad Trujillo (Gemini Observatory) and David Rabinowitz (Yale University) on November 14, 2003. ...


The team refers to the object informally by the nickname Xena, after the television series Xena: Warrior Princess. They had saved this name for the first body they found that was larger than Pluto. The X of Xena is a reference to Percival Lowell's Planet X; they had wanted more female names for astronomical bodies, and this was the closest they could come to a mythological female name beginning with X. On the other hand, the team has also claimed that they chose the name because "We have always wanted to name something Xena" [14], seemingly implying that the name was chosen prior to the association with Planet X. The name Xena has been used by news media such as CNN, but it has not been proposed to the IAU. For the name see Xenia. ... Xena. ... Percival observing Mars from the Lowell Observatory. ... Planet X was a large hypothetical planet orbiting beyond the orbit of Neptune. ... The Cable News Network, usually referred to as CNN, is a cable television network founded in 1980 by Ted Turner[1] [2]. It is a division of the Turner Broadcasting System, owned by Time Warner. ...


The second reported name, Lila, is not a nickname for 2003 UB313, but rather comes from "Planet Lila", the name of the discovery web page URL, which was named after Michael Brown's newborn daughter, Lilah. A Uniform Resource Locator (URL or, less formally, Web address) is a sequence of characters conforming to a standardized format, used for referring to resources (such as documents and images on the Internet) by their location. ...


Two days after announcing the discovery, Brown discussed his team's ideas about naming the objects on his website:

"If the object falls under the rules for other Kuiper belt objects, however, it must be named after some figure in a creation mythology. We have decided to attempt to follow that ruling scheme. […] One such particularly apt name would have been Persephone. In Greek mythology Persephone is the (forcibly abducted) wife of Hades (Roman Pluto) who spends six months each year underground. The mourning of her mother Demeter causes the dead of winter. The new planet is on an orbit that could be described in similar terms; half of the time in the vicinity of Pluto and half of the time much further away. Sadly, the name Persephone was used in 1895 as a name for the 399th known asteroid. The same story can be told for almost any other Greek or Roman god of any consequence […] Luckily, the world is full of mythological and spiritual traditions. In the past we have named Kuiper belt objects after native American, Inuit, and [minor] Roman gods. Our new proposed name expands to different traditions, still." [15]

He added later on his website that IAU lacks consensus on what the object is, and even which committee should be charged with approving its name. The committee which oversees major planets has suggested that if this object is classified as a major planet, the naming should continue the Greco-Roman tradition for planets. Brown indicated in a recent article [16] that he would propose the name Persephone if this tradition were to be upheld, despite the fact that this name has been assigned to the 399th known asteroid. Persephone has often been used in science fiction as the name of the tenth planet: see tenth planets in fiction. Persephone, the Maiden: the late Archaic Kore of Antenor from the Acropolis, Athens In Greek mythology, Persephone (Greek Περσεφόνη, Classical Greek Persephónē, Modern Greek Persefóni) was the queen of the Underworld, the Kore or young maiden, and the daughter of Demeter. ... Greek mythology consists of a large collection of narratives detailing the lives and adventures of a wide variety of gods, goddesses, heroes, and heroines, which were first envisioned and disseminated in an oral-poetic tradition. ... Hades, Greek god of the underworld, enthroned, with his bird-headed staff, on a red-figure vase made in the 4th century BC. Hades (From , Hadēs, or , Háidēs, Greek for unseen) refers to both the ancient Greek abode of the dead and the god of that underworld. ... Roman mythology, the mythological beliefs of the people of Ancient Rome, can be considered as having two parts. ... Pluto is an alternate name for the Greek god Hades, but was more often used in Roman mythology in their presentation of the god of the underworld. ... This article is about the grain goddess Demeter; for other uses, see Demeter (disambiguation). ... 399 Persephone is a typical Main belt asteroid. ... Native American mythology includes a number of stories and legends that are mythological. ... Inuit mythology has many similarities to the religions of other polar regions. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Classical antiquity. ... Persephone, the Maiden: the late Archaic Kore of Antenor from the Acropolis, Athens In Greek mythology, Persephone (Greek Περσεφόνη, Classical Greek Persephónē, Modern Greek Persefóni) was the queen of the Underworld, the Kore or young maiden, and the daughter of Demeter. ... Science fiction is a form of speculative fiction principally dealing with the impact of imagined science and technology, or both, upon society and persons as individuals. ... Ever since the discovery of Pluto, the existence of a tenth planet has been speculated by astronomers and the general public alike. ...


When thinking of a name, co-discoverer Chad Trujillo went on the record as saying, "The name may turn out not to be Greek or Roman — there are so many asteroids named now that there are very few Greek/Roman names left!" Their previous record of names has been to be inclusive of other cultures, including Native American and Irish folklore.


Orbit

Position of 2003 UB313 on 29 July 2005. On the left is the view from "above" the plane of the solar system, while on the right is the view from "in front". Darker blue indicates the part of the orbit below the ecliptic plane. Also shown are Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto.
Enlarge
Position of 2003 UB313 on 29 July 2005. On the left is the view from "above" the plane of the solar system, while on the right is the view from "in front". Darker blue indicates the part of the orbit below the ecliptic plane. Also shown are Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto.

2003 UB313 has an orbital period of 557 years, and currently lies at almost its maximum possible distance from the Sun (aphelion). It is currently the most distant known solar system object from the Sun at a distance of 97 astronomical units, although about forty known TNOs (most notably 2000 OO67 and Sedna), while currently closer to the Sun than 2003 UB313, have greater average orbital distances. [17] Image File history File links Orbit of 2003 UB313 on 29 July 2005 (NASA) source: http://neo. ... Image File history File links Orbit of 2003 UB313 on 29 July 2005 (NASA) source: http://neo. ... July 29 is the 210th day (211th in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian Calendar, with 155 days remaining. ... 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ... The orbital period is the time it takes a planet (or another object) to make one full orbit. ... This article is about several astronomical terms (apogee & perigee, aphelion & perihelion, generic equivalents based on apsis, and related but rarer terms. ... Presentation of the solar system (not to scale) The solar system comprises the Earths Sun and the retinue of celestial objects gravitationally bound to it. ... The Sun is the spectral type G2V yellow star at the center of Earths solar system. ... The astronomical unit (AU or au or a. ... 2000 OO67 is a Trans Neptunian Object notable for its highly eccentric orbit. ... 90377 Sedna is a trans-Neptunian object, discovered by Michael Brown (Caltech), Chad Trujillo (Gemini Observatory) and David Rabinowitz (Yale University) on November 14, 2003. ...


Its orbit is highly eccentric, and brings it to within 37.8 AU of the Sun (a typical perihelion for scattered objects), still safe from direct interaction with Neptune (at ~30AU). For comparison, Pluto, like other plutinos, follows a less inclined and less eccentric orbit and, protected by orbital resonance, it can cross Neptune’s orbit. Unlike the terrestrial planets and gas giants, whose orbits all lie roughly in the same plane as the Earth's, 2003 UB313's orbit is very inclined—it is tilted at an angle of about 44 degrees to the ecliptic. Eccentric is from the Greek for out of the centre, as opposed to concentric, in the centre. ... The Sun is the spectral type G2V yellow star at the center of Earths solar system. ... This article is about several astronomical terms (apogee & perigee, aphelion & perihelion, generic equivalents based on apsis, and related but rarer terms. ... The scattered disc (or scattered disk) is a distant region of our solar system, thinly populated by icy planetoids known as scattered disk objects (SDOs), a subset of the broader family of trans-Neptunian objects (TNOs). ... In astronomy, a plutino is a trans-Neptunian object that has a 3:2 orbital resonance with Neptune. ... In celestial mechanics, orbital resonance occurs when two orbiting bodies have periods of revolution that are in a simple integer ratio so that they exert a regular gravitational influence on each other. ... A terrestrial planet or telluric planet is a planet which is primarily composed of silicate rocks. ... A gas giant is a large planet that is not composed mostly of rock or other solid matter. ... Look up plane in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Inclination in general is the angle between a reference plane and another plane or axis of direction. ... A degree (in full, a degree of arc, arc degree, or arcdegree), usually symbolized °, is a measurement of plane angle, representing 1/360 of a full rotation. ... The plane of the ecliptic is well seen in this picture from the 1994 lunar prospecting Clementine spacecraft. ...


The new object currently has an apparent magnitude of about 19, making it bright enough to be detectable even in some amateur telescopes. While it would be a difficult object to spot visually, a telescope with an 8" lens or mirror and a CCD can image 2003 UB313 in dark skies (for an example of an amateur image of 2003 UB313, see [18]). The reason it had not been noticed until now is because of its steep orbital inclination: most searches for large outer solar system objects concentrate on the ecliptic plane, in which most solar system material is found. // Headline text HEY!! HOW ARE YOU ALL?? Its nice of you to come read this page. ... 50 cm refracting telescope at Nice Observatory. ... A specially developed CCD used for ultraviolet imaging in a wire bonded package. ...


Size

An artist's impression of the view towards the Sun from near 2003 UB313.

The diameter of 2003 UB313 has only been measured indirectly. The brightness of an object depends both on its size and the amount of light it reflects (its albedo). If the distance to an object and its albedo are both known, its radius can be determined from its apparent magnitude, with a higher albedo implying a smaller radius. To better determine these parameters, the discovery team was awarded observing time on the Hubble Space Telescope. At a distance of 97 AU, an object with a radius of 3000 km would have an angular size of 40 milliarcseconds, which is directly measurable with HST: although resolving such small objects is right at the limit of Hubble's capabilities, sophisticated image processing techniques such as deconvolution can be used to measure such angular sizes fairly accurately. As of February 2006 the resulting data were being analysed, and results are expected soon. The team previously applied this technique to 50000 Quaoar, using the Advanced Camera for Surveys to directly measure its radius. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (3000x2250, 145 KB)Artists impression of possible 10th planet 2003 UB313, with the Sun in the distance. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (3000x2250, 145 KB)Artists impression of possible 10th planet 2003 UB313, with the Sun in the distance. ... The Sun is the spectral type G2V yellow star at the center of Earths solar system. ... For the geometric term, see diameter. ... The albedo is a measure of reflectivity of a surface or body. ... In classical geometry, a radius of a circle or sphere is any line segment with one endpoint on the circle (i. ... The Hubble Space Telescope (HST) is a telescope in orbit around the Earth. ... Angular size is a measurement of how large or small something is using rotational measurement (degrees of arc, arc_minutes, and arc-seconds). ... A milliarcsecond (m, mas) , or a thoundsanth of an arcsecond. ... Deconvolution is a process used to reverse the effects of convolution on recorded data. ... Artists impression by G. Bacon of STScI / NASA 50000 Quaoar (pronounced kwah·war, kwah·wor, or kwow·ur, Tongva ) [1] is a Trans-Neptunian object orbiting the Sun in the Edgeworth-Kuiper belt. ... Introduction The Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) is a third generation axial instrument aboard the Hubble Space Telescope (HST). ...


Meanwhile Bertoldi et alia [19] have made observations of the thermal emission of 2003 UB313 at a wavelength of 1.2 mm, where the object's brightness depends only on temperature and surface area. These showed it to have a diameter of 3000 km ±270km ±100km, about a third larger than Pluto, and an albedo variously reported as 0.60 or 0.55 ±0.10 ±0.05, within Pluto's range. (The first error margin relates to the measurements, the second to the unknown orientation and rotation.) If the object rotates quickly, resulting in a more even heat distribution and a temperature of 23-24 Kelvin, a likely diameter would be in the higher portion of the range (best fit 3090 km); if it rotates slowly, the visible surface would be a warmer ~27K and a likely diameter would be in the smaller end of the range (best fit 2860 km). The kelvin (symbol: K) is the SI unit of temperature, and is one of the seven SI base units. ...


Surface

The infrared spectrum of 2003 UB313, compared to that of Pluto, shows the marked similarities between the two bodies. Arrows denote methane absorption lines.
Enlarge
The infrared spectrum of 2003 UB313, compared to that of Pluto, shows the marked similarities between the two bodies. Arrows denote methane absorption lines.

The discovery team followed up their initial identification of 2003 UB313 with spectroscopic observations made at the 8 m Gemini North Telescope in Hawaii on January 25, 2005. Infrared light from the object revealed the presence of methane ice, indicating that the surface of 2003 UB313 is rather similar to Pluto, which was the only TNO already known to show the presence of methane. Neptune's moon Triton is probably related to Kuiper Belt objects, and also has methane on its surface. Image File history File links Near infrared spectrum of possible new planet 2003 UB313, taken with the Gemini 8m telescope. ... Image File history File links Near infrared spectrum of possible new planet 2003 UB313, taken with the Gemini 8m telescope. ... R-phrases S-phrases , , , Flash point −188 °C Autoignition temperature 537 °C Explosive limits 5–15% Supplementary data page Structure and properties Thermodynamic data Spectral data UV, IR, NMR, MS Related compounds Related alkanes Ethane Propane Related compounds Methanol Chloromethane Except where noted otherwise, data are given for materials in... High resolution spectrum of the Sun showing thousands of elemental absorption lines (fraunhofer lines). ... The Gemini Observatory is an astronomical observatory consisting of 8-metre telescopes at two different sites. ... Official language(s) Hawaiian and English Capital Honolulu Largest city Honolulu Area  - Total  - Width  - Length  - % water  - Latitude  - Longitude Ranked 43rd 28,337 km² n/a km 2,450 km 41. ... January 25 is the 25th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Image of a small dog taken in mid-infrared (thermal) light (false color) Infrared (IR) radiation is electromagnetic radiation of a wavelength longer than that of visible light, but shorter than that of microwave radiation. ... R-phrases S-phrases , , , Flash point −188 °C Autoignition temperature 537 °C Explosive limits 5–15% Supplementary data page Structure and properties Thermodynamic data Spectral data UV, IR, NMR, MS Related compounds Related alkanes Ethane Propane Related compounds Methanol Chloromethane Except where noted otherwise, data are given for materials in... Triton (trye-tÉ™n, IPA , Greek Τρίτων), or Neptune I, is the planet Neptunes largest moon. ...


Unlike the somewhat reddish Pluto and Triton, however, 2003 UB313 appears almost grey. Pluto's reddish color is believed to be due to deposits of tholins on its surface, and where these deposits darken the surface, the lower albedo leads to higher temperatures and the evaporation of methane deposits. In contrast, 2003 UB313 is far enough away from the Sun that methane can condense onto its surface even where the albedo is low. The condensation of methane uniformly over the surface reduces any albedo contrasts and would cover up any deposits of red tholins. Tholin is a heteropolymer formed by solar ultraviolet irradiation of simple organic compounds such as methane or ethane. ... Condensation is the change in matter of a substance to a denser phase, such as gas (or vapor) to a liquid. ...


Methane is very volatile and its presence shows either that 2003 UB313 has always resided in the distant reaches of the solar system where it is cold enough for methane ice to persist, or that it has an internal source of methane to replenish gas that escapes from its atmosphere. This contrasts with observations of another recently discovered Kuiper Belt object, 2003 EL61, which reveal the presence of water ice but not methane. Volatile is the name of more than one concept: A financial instrument with high volatility is considered volatile in economics. ... The title of this article is incorrect due to technical limitations. ... A girl in a swimming pool full of water Water (from the Old English waeter; c. ...


Moon

During 2005, the adaptive optics team at the Keck telescopes in Hawaii carried out observations of the four brightest Kuiper belt objects (Pluto, 2005 FY9, 2003 EL61, and 2003 UB313), using the newly commissioned laser guide star adaptive optics system. Observations taken on 10 September revealed a moon in orbit around 2003 UB313, provisionally designated S/2005 (2003 UB313) 1. In keeping with the "Xena" nickname already in use for 2003 UB313, the moon was nicknamed Gabrielle by its discoverers, after the television warrior princess's sidekick. As with the "Xena" name, this is purely informal and it is expected another official name will be chosen for the moon, depending upon the final decided status of 2003 UB313. A deformable mirror can be used to correct wavefront errors in an astronomical telescope. ... The W. M. Keck Observatory is home to the two largest optical/near-infrared telescopes at the 4,145 meter (13,600 ft) summit of Mauna Kea in Hawaii. ... Official language(s) Hawaiian and English Capital Honolulu Largest city Honolulu Area  - Total  - Width  - Length  - % water  - Latitude  - Longitude Ranked 43rd 28,337 km² n/a km 2,450 km 41. ... Atmospheric characteristics Atmospheric pressure 0. ... 2005 FY9 (also written 2005 FY9), codenamed Easterbunny by its discoverers, is a very large Kuiper belt object discovered on March 31, 2005 by the team led by Michael Brown. ... The title of this article is incorrect due to technical limitations. ... Lick Observatory laser guide star, built by LLNL. Laser guide stars are a form of artificial star created for use in astronomical adaptive optics imaging. ... September 10 is the 253rd day of the year (254th in leap years). ... Moons of solar system scaled to Earths Moon The common noun moon (not capitalized) is used to mean any natural satellite of the other planets. ...


The satellite is about 60 times fainter than 2003 UB313, and its diameter is estimated to be approximately eight times smaller. Its orbital period is currently crudely estimated to be about two weeks (14 days), but further observations are planned which will allow a much better measurement on the period. Once astronomers refine the period and the semimajor axis of the satellite's orbit (currently estimated at 36 Mm [20]), they will be able to determine the mass of the system. In geometry, the semi-major axis (also semimajor axis) a applies to ellipses and hyperbolas. ...


Astronomers now know that three of the four brightest Kuiper belt objects have satellites, while among the fainter members of the belt only about 10% are known to have satellites. This is believed to imply that collisions between large KBOs have been frequent in the past. Impacts between bodies of the order of 1000 km across would throw off large amounts of material which would coalesce into a moon. A similar mechanism is believed to have led to the formation of Earth's own Moon when the Earth was struck by a giant impactor early in the history of the solar system. For other moons in the solar system see natural satellite. ... The Big Splash The giant impact theory (or Big Splash or Big Whack; cf. ... Presentation of the solar system (not to scale) The solar system comprises the Earths Sun and the retinue of celestial objects gravitationally bound to it. ...


External links

Press releases

News stories

  • 'Tenth Planet' found to be a whopper - Nature (registration required)
  • Tenth planet discovered in outer solar system - NewScientistSpace.com
  • Astronomers Discover "10th Planet" - Sky & Telescope article
  • Tenth Planet Discovered - Astronomy Magazine article
  • LARGER THAN PLUTO! 10th Planet Discovered? - Planetary Society
  • Tenth planet found! - spaceflightnow.com
  • Object Bigger than Pluto Discovered, Called 10th Planet - space.com
  • Astronomers detect '10th planet' - BBC News
  • You Call That a Planet? How astronomers decide whether a celestial body measures up. - Slate.com
  • Sky and Telescope article on the moon of 2003 UB313 and the diameter estimate
  • Keck Observatory – Gabrielle: a moon of Xena (2003 UB313)
  • VOA News - Scientists Find '10th Planet' Bigger Than Pluto
  • Downsizing the "Tenth Planet" -- Irion 2006 (127): 1 -- ScienceNOW
  • Amateur astronomers make first sighting of '10th planet' through McDonald Observatory telescope

Image File history File links Wikinews-logo. ... Wikinews is a free content news source and a project of the Wikimedia Foundation. ... Sky & Telescope is a monthly magazine providing articles and information on all aspects of astronomy, space exploration, telescope equipment, and amateur telescope making and use. ...

References

  • M. E. Brown, C. A. Trujillo, D. L. Rabinowitz Discovery of a Planetary-sized Object in the Scattered Kuiper Belt, The Astrophysical Journal, 635 (Dec. 2005), Issue 1, pp. L97-L100. Preprint on arXiv.
  • M. E. Brown, M. A. van Dam, A. H. Bouchez, D. LeMignant, C. A. Trujillo, R. Campbell, J. Chin, Conrad A, .S. Hartman, E. Johansson, R. Lafon, D. L. Rabinowitz, P. Stomski, D. Summers, P. L. Wizinowich Satellites of the largest Kuiper belt objects, The Astrophysical Journal (2006), 639, Issue 1, pp. L43-L46. Preprint on arXiv.
  • Gomes R. S., Gallardo T., Fernández J. A., Brunini A. (2005), On the origin of the High-Perihelion Scattered Disk: the role of the Kozai mechanism and mean motion resonances, Celestial Mechanics and Dynamical Astronomy, Vol. 91, pp. 109-129
  • Bertoldi F., Altenhoff W., Weiss A., Menten K. M., Thum C. (2006). The trans-neptunian object UB313 is larger than Pluto, Nature, 2 February 2006;439(7076):563-4
The minor planetsedit
Vulcanoids | Near-Earth asteroids | Main belt | Jupiter Trojans | Centaurs | Damocloids | Comets | Trans-Neptunians (Kuiper belt · Scattered disc · Oort cloud)
For other objects and regions, see: asteroid groups and families, binary asteroids, asteroid moons and the Solar system
For a complete listing, see: List of asteroids. For pronunciation, see: Pronunciation of asteroid names.
Large trans-Neptunian objectsedit
Kuiper belt: Pluto (Charon) | Orcus | Ixion | 2002 UX25 | Varuna | 2002 TX300 | 2003 EL61 | Quaoar | 2005 FY9 | 2002 AW197
Scattered disc: 2003 UB313 | 2004 XR190 | Sedna
 See also Triton, astronomical objects and the solar system's list of objects, sorted by radius or mass
For pronunciation, see: Centaur and TNO pronunciation.
† Current MPC classification. Some consider Sedna an Oort cloud object.
The Solar System
Planets: Mercury - Venus - Earth (Moon) - Mars - Jupiter - Saturn - Uranus - Neptune - Pluto
Other: Sun - Asteroid belt - Main-belt comets - Kuiper belt - Scattered disc - Oort cloud
See also astronomical objects and the solar system's list of objects, sorted by radius or mass.

  Results from FactBites:
 
2003 UB313 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (3367 words)
Claims that 2003 UB has been named 'Xena' or 'Lila' are incorrect; 'Xena' is an informal codename used by its discoverers among themselves, and 'Lila' is a name in the address of the website where the object was announced, after the newly-born daughter of one of the discoverers.
A ruling on what to name 2003 UB is currently being delayed pending a decision on whether to promulgate a formal definition of the term 'planet' and the status of this object under such a definition.
As 2003 UB appears to be larger than Pluto, it might come to be considered as the tenth planet in the Solar system, and was initially described as such by NASA and in media reports of its discovery.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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