Thursday, September 07, 2006

Pluto and other KBOs (2003 UB313) get designations

The Minor Planet Center has wasted no time in assigning minor planet numbers to Pluto, 2003 UB313, and other Kuiper Belt Objects.

(134340) Pluto
Additional identifications = Object Lowell Observatory = X
(136199) 2003 UB313
(136472) 2005 FY9
(136108) 2003 EL61

etc...
Minor Planet Designations

Andrew Lowe over at the Minor Planet Mailing List figured this out.

A tradition in the minor planets was to name the "special" numbers after something special: (8000) Isaac Newton, (20000) Varuna, (50000) Quaoar, etc. A great opportunity was lost when (100000) wasn't designated as Pluto.

2 comments:

Steven said...

And (136108) 2003 EL61 was attributed to the Spanish team, to to M. Brown et al.

I think we've gotten to the point where the number is harder to remember than the provisional designation:-p

If they re-name the Minor Planet Center to be the Small Solar System Bodies Center, they're going to create an anomoly out of (4999) MPC = 1987 CJ (= 1966 CZ).

Dean W. Armstrong said...

The MPC has been tight on the columns for the submission reports so they write 136108 as D6108.