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Planetary Discovery Poll

Considering technology & society, which discovery was a greater accomplishment?


Planetary Discovery Poll - Uranus - Pluto - Xena


When Uranus was first discovered in 1781 by William Herschel (brother to Caroline Herschel), he named it Georgium Sidus (Star of george) in honor of King George III of England. Later, astronomers changed the name to Uranus, for the ruler of Heaven and the Universe in Greek mythology.

After many other suggestions and much debate, the planet was named Pluto partly due to its distance from the sun, which keeps it perpetually in the dark, and partly because "PL" are the initials of Percival Lowell, the man who theorized the existence of another planet and whose laboratory its discoverer, Clyde W. Tombaugh worked. Pluto is the most recent planet in the solar system to be detected (1930).

In 2005, a planet, larger than Pluto, was discovered using the Samuel Oschin Telescope at Palomar Observatory near San Diego, Calif. It has tentatively been called Xena while awaiting a decision by the International Astronomical Organization on its status and name. Catalogued as 2003UB313, it was first photographed with the 48-inch Samuel Oschin Telescope on October 31, 2003.

Considering technology and society, which discovery was a greater accomplishment?

  1. Uranus
  2. Pluto
  3. Xena
View Results
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