Thursday, June 12, 2008

Pluto gets a new name: plutoid

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Pluto, demoted from planet status in 2006, got a consolation prize on Wednesday -- it and other dwarf planets like it will be called plutoids.

The International Astronomical Union said in a statement that its executive committee meeting in Oslo, Norway, decided on the term.

Plutoids will be defined as celestial bodies in orbit around the Sun farther away than Neptune. They must have near-spherical shape, and must not have swept up other, smaller objects in their orbits, said the organization, which names newly discovered planets and other celestial bodies.

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