Planet Under Siege

  • Govert Schilling


There was nothing Brian Marsden could do about it. If it were up to him, he would give 2003 UB313 an official name as soon as possible. It was clear to everyone that the discovery of this gigantic ice dwarf, announced by Mike Brown on July 29, 2005, was a historical event which would generate enormous publicity. The year before, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) had introduced a special emergency procedure for exceptional cases like this. The IAU’s Committee on Small Body Nomenclature could now in theory decide on a definite name for a new object within a day. But, in the case of 2003 UB313, everyone first had to be in agreement about its status – was it yet another ice dwarf, or was it really a new planet? If it was indeed a planet, Marsden’s committee had no say in what it was to be called.


Solar System Kuiper Belt Minor Planet Planetary Scientist International Astronomical Union 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.AmersfoortNetherlands

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