The dwarf planet, formerly known as 2003 UB313 (or Xena), is now called Eris, after the
Greek goddess of discord and strife.
This artist's concept shows the planet catalogued as 2003 UB313 at the lonely
outer fringes of our solar system. Our Sun can be seen in the distance. The
new planet, which is yet to be formally named, is at least as big as Pluto and
about three times farther away from the Sun than Pluto. It is very cold and dark.
The planet was discovered by the Samuel Oschin Telescope at the Palomar
Observatory near San Diego, Calif., on Jan. 8, 2005.
A joint effort between JPL and the California Institute of Technology,
the Palomar Observatory near San Diego houses a collection of famous
telescopes, including the Hale 200-inch and Samuel Oschin 48-inch
telescopes. The Palomar Adaptive Optics System, built by JPL and Caltech,
corrects for the atmospheric blur of astronomical targets caused by
turbulence in Earth's atmosphere. This system's camera was built by
Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y.