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New Planetoid Discovered Between Neptune, Pluto

October 26, 2000

A new minor planet measuring about 400 miles in diameter has been discovered between Neptune and Pluto in the outer rim of the solar system, Yale astronomers announced Wednesday. Officially named 2000 EB173, the planetoid was discovered using a powerful telescope at the CIDA Observatory in Merida, Venezuela. "The significance of this finding? It's just 'Wow!' After all these years, we can still find something new in the solar system," said astronomer Charles Baltay.

It is customary that whoever finds a new object in the solar system is allowed to name it, Baltay said, but only after it has circled the sun twice. Unfortunately for Baltay, the planetoid takes 243 years to complete one orbit.

-- Compiled by Times medical writer Thomas H. Maugh II

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