Welcome to Planet Buffy
Astronomers recently have discovered a flock of at least eight other planet-like objects in sometimes wildly eccentric orbits. Four new "ice dwarfs," plus two more probable moons around Pluto, were announced in the last six months.
The latest mini-world, temporarily nicknamed "Buffy" and more than 5 billion miles from the sun, was revealed Dec. 13. The object, about half the size of Pluto, was spotted roaming through the so-called Kuiper Belt, a vast junkyard of icy, rocky bodies stretching for billions of miles beyond the orbit of Neptune.