Sunday, September 17, 2006

Hail Eris, full of strife

Eris and DysnomiaAn artist's depiction of Eris, with Dysnomia and the very distant sun in the background
The International Astronomical Union has announced the new official name for the Kuiper Belt dwarf planet formerly known as Xena and 2003 UB313. Eris, the Greek goddess of strife, is now the namesake of the largest dwarf planet in the solar system. Eris's moon has been named for Eris's daughter Dysnomia, the spirit of lawlessness. (Somewhere Xena, Warrior Princess, is cracking a smile over the backhanded tribute to Lucy Lawless.)

Okay, so what? The scientific details are dandy, but why read about it at Jurisdynamics rather than a bona fide scientific source, perhaps one accessed through the Scientific Lawyer ( When it comes to mythical women wreaking havoc with apples, Eris totally surpasses Eve. Explaining exactly why this is so enables me to insert an interlude in the ongoing series, Genesis for the rest of us. Let's call it Cosmological Convergence.


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