June 18th, 2007

palomar telescope

Astro-image of the day: Dwarf planet Eris is bigger than Pluto

So new evidence shows that "dwarf planet" Eris is bigger than Pluto, adding more support for Pluto's demotion from planethood. It also has at least one moon, as you can see below. Eris sometimes even orbits closer to the Sun than Pluto does.

This doesn't make me happy, because Pluto has been a planet all my life, and it just feels wrong for it be knocked down this way. Nonetheless, it's currently a dwarf planet. Fellow Kansan Clyde W. Tombaugh discovered Pluto 77 years ago with a telescope he had built himself in his teens (he made the discovery in his mid-20s). That kind of story excites young folks and gets them interested in astronomy, so I was so irritated and sad when Pluto was yanked from the list of planets. *sigh*

But this new "dwarf planet" makes a pretty image:

Click the image to see the story.

baby fox

Baby bunny in my front yard

It's pouring rain outside, and this little fella is nibbling clover and dandelion leaves. I love bunnes: Almost no dandelions have reached adulthood because of their appeal to bunnies.

And here it is kind of nervous about my camera in the window: