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Old 10-02-2005, 07:00 PM   #1
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Reported 10th planet Xena has moon named Gabrielle

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Xena, the possible 10th planet in our solar system, has its own moon, a dim little satellite called Gabrielle, its discoverers reported.

Astronomers who reported Xena's discovery in July said they detected Xena's sidekick on September 10 using the Keck Observatory on Mauna Kea in Hawaii. Their findings will be submitted to the Astrophysical Journal Letters on Monday.

"Since the day we discovered Xena, the big question has been whether or not it has a moon," Michael Brown, of the California Institute of Technology, said in a statement. "Having a moon is just inherently cool — and it is something that most self-respecting planets have, so it is good to see that this one does too."

Xena, known formally as 2003 UB313 but nicknamed for the warrior princess of television fame, and Gabrielle orbit the sun out beyond Pluto in a band known as the Kuiper Belt, a swath that is home to comets, asteroids and other space rocks.

The possible 10th planet moves in a highly eccentric orbit, tilted some 45 degrees above the orbital plane of the other planets. Its orbit is also elliptical, zooming in as close as 3.5 billion miles from the sun and moving out to as far as 9 billion miles away.

Earth orbits rather consistently at 93 million miles from the sun.

It takes Xena 560 Earth years to complete one trip around the Sun, compared to Pluto's 250 years.

Xena is one of three big planet-like bodies recently found in this region. The others have equally playful nicknames: Santa and Easterbunny.

A PLANET - OR NOT?

Size is important when it comes to making the grade as a planet. Astronomers know that Xena is bigger than Pluto but since they don't know what it is made of, they can't be sure that it is more massive. The discovery of the moon Gabrielle means Xena has at least enough mass to keep a satellite.

Gabrielle is estimated to orbit close to Xena, making a circuit perhaps every 14 days. Named for the TV princess's traveling companion, Gabrielle is about 60 times fainter than Xena.
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Wait for the protests
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Old 10-02-2005, 07:27 PM   #2
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I guess even planets are one bastard away
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Old 10-02-2005, 09:53 PM   #3
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Reminds me of the YES song, "astral traveler".

I haven't seen or heard a YES album in years..........

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Xena is one of three big planet-like bodies recently found in this region. The others have equally playful nicknames: Santa and Easterbunny.
Hmm........ why not Garfield?
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Old 10-03-2005, 03:39 PM   #4
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And they named it Xena????????? why didn't name the next one "obi wan kenobi" then????
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Old 10-03-2005, 05:12 PM   #5
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Will Zena and Gabrielle kiss????

Oh wait...

That already happened on the show....
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Old 10-03-2005, 05:17 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dreadsox
Will Zena and Gabrielle kiss????

Oh wait...

That already happened on the show....
How did I miss that?
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Old 10-04-2005, 11:42 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dreadsox
Will Zena and Gabrielle kiss????

Oh wait...

That already happened on the show....
really????? when????
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Old 10-04-2005, 01:38 PM   #8
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There's no 10th planet anyways. It's a Kuiper Belt object, and to think that this is a planet is wishful thinking on the part of the astronomers.

FFS, Pluto isn't even a planet.
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