www.whyville.net Mar 27, 2004 Weekly Issue

Science Reporter

A New Planet!?!

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Hello everyone,

Sweetrixy here with a very important article!

As children, we all learned about the planets, and your teachers in elementary probably taught you (or are teaching you) some sort of poem or song to say them all. I can still remember mine! "My very energetic mother just served us nine pizzas!" If you look closely at that, you'll see each word starts with the first letter of the planets, in order.

Well, now we sort of have a problem... THERE IS A NEW PLANET! (Editor's Note: Sort of...)

The planet is named 2003 VB12 and has unofficially been named Sedna. Sedna means goddess of the sea for Arctic dwellers. Unfortunately this is not definitely going to be the name: The International Astronomical Union would have to approve it first.

My science teacher first told our class about this March 17, 2004. He also said that Sedna was found in 2003, seeing how it is called 2003 VB12.

Sedna's diameter is estimated at no more than 1,100 miles. It might be the biggest object in the solar system after Pluto, but astronomers need more information to know for sure. Sedna is though to be some 8 billion miles away from the Sun.

"If you were stand on the surface of Sedna today and you held a pin at arm's length, you could cover the entire Sun with the head of that pin. Even the largest backyard telescopes would have a hard time spotting Sedna from Earth," said Michael Brown of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, Calif.

For now this all the information I have been able to find on the new planet Sedna. Watch for "Sedna, Part 2" in the coming weeks!.

This has been a special report by sweetrixy! (I have always wanted to say that... : D)

(My information came from my science teacher and the official NASA site.)

Editor's Note: Great report!?? I first learned about Sedna from a short piece on a public radio show, so maybe your teacher has heard more about this than I, but from what the show said, there's a lot of debate over whether something the size and location of Sedna should really get to be a planet.?? It's wayyy out there, and some scientists say that if Sedna gets to be a planet, we'll find hundreds of other large-ish rocks that will be called planets, too!?? We'll have to come up with entire odes to list out all the planet names!


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