|A dwarf planet nicknamed Xena had its image cleaned up Thursday by the world's astronomers, who officially named the distant frozen rock after a proper goddess and kicked Xena out of the solar system.|
Eris is the official new name for the planet discovered in 2003.
Eris was the Greek goddess of discord and strife who was not invited to a wedding party and got her revenge by causing trouble (the Trojan war).
Xena was such a cool name. (With satellite Gabrielle!) If they had to change it (and there was no need to other then old-school arrogance), then they should have at least changed it to a more important goddess like Hecate.
(Yeah, there's probably some minor asteroid already named Hecate, but asteroids shouldn't be allowed to hog all the good names.)
EDIT: ...on second thought, Eris isn't a bad name at all (it's short and meaningful), but I still like Xena.
Heh, I couldn't find any substantiation of the naming until I checked a few sources and found out the IAU did indeed 'sign off' on it.
Otherwise, the whole astro community could have named it peanut butter and jelly and it wouldn't have washed worth jack without IAU approval.
Comets and asteroids are the only exception, and they can only contain the name(s) of their discoverers.
Scientific names are the only other convention used, usually preceeded by the year of discovery (i.e.- 2004 XYZ27). Personally, I think it's because the IAU isn't imaginitive enough to come up with several million names. :lol: