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When We Discovered Pluto, It Changed How We Saw The Solar System

On the 23rd and 24th of January, 1930, a young astronomer working in Flagstaff, Arizona, scanned a small patch of the night sky. He was taking pictures of star positions, looking for anomalies that would signal movement somewhere at the edge of the solar system. He took the pictures then set them aside, not realizing… » 7/12/15 12:00pm 7/12/15 12:00pm

You Are Now Officially Invited to Nominate Names for Exoplanets

The International Astronomical Union (IAU), which oversees planetary nomenclature, today invited the public to submit and vote on names for recently discovered exoplanets and their parent stars. Anyone wanting to see a planet named "Gallifrey" or "Waist-Deep Cats" – today is the day you've been waiting for. » 7/09/14 10:31am 7/09/14 10:31am

Why it took forever to allow public input on naming planets

Last week, the International Astronomical Union – the sanctioning body that oversees the naming of planets, among other thingsreversed its official stance on 1) whether to bother naming extrasolar planets and 2) whether the public should be included in the naming process. XKCD's take on the announcement is easily… » 8/19/13 2:36pm 8/19/13 2:36pm