(March 27, 2007) From the “Evenings with Astronomers” series. In 2005, Dr. Michael Brown and his colleagues discovered 2003 UB313, now officially known as “Eris.” The discovery marked the first time in 75 years that an object larger than Pluto had been found in our Solar System. The discovery turned the astronomical world on its head. Scientists had to consider if size was the only metric by which to define a planet. The debate unleashed an avalanche of questions concerning planetary science and the role scientists play in defining the word “planet” for local and global communities.
Science Standards: Earth in the Solar System; Forces that Shape the Earth; Scientific Views of the Universe.