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NOVA scienceNOW: 10th Planet

Program Overview


In January of 2005, astronomers discovered a distant object larger than Pluto orbiting the sun. However, since there is no authoritative definition for the term planet, disagreement exists between those who think the discovery may be a tenth planet and those who think it is another kind of object.

This NOVA scienceNOW segment:

  • reports that a team of astronomers detected a distant object larger than Pluto orbiting the sun.

  • explains that the term planet is a Greek, nonscientific word that means wanderer. It originated before people understood that planets orbit the sun.

  • relates how the newly detected object was given the temporary code name Xena, and its satellite was named Gabrielle; both names came from characters in a television program.

Taping Rights: Can be used up to one year after the program is taped off the air.

Teacher's Guide
NOVA scienceNOW: 10th Planet
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