Astronomers Name New Planet After Biden

Biden Sunglasses

America’s 47th Vice-President has apparently been memorialized in the heavens:

Astronomers have nicknamed a new dwarf planet circling the sun at the outer edges of the solar system after Vice President Biden.

According to Nature, a leading scientific journal, the object’s official designation is 2012 VP113. But the team studying its orbit around the sun colloquially refer to the planet as just “VP” or “Biden,” after the sitting vice president.

Somehow, I have to imagine that Planet Biden is a very interesting place.

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Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. OzarkHillbilly says:

    You need to fix the title of the post Doug. They did not “name” the planet after Biden. It is currently called VP-113, or Biden (Vice President) for short until it receives a proper name. I forget the exact protocols for naming a planet but it has something to do with ALL names being Greek/Roman Gods. Biden does not yet qualify for that designation.

  2. Dave Schuler says:

    They’re calling a new planet “Brain-Damaged”?

  3. PJ says:

    Also, it’s not a new planet, it’s a dwarf planet. A dwarf planet, for example Pluto, is not a planet.

  4. rodney dill says:

    @PJ: Along the lines of “Pluto” and based on the headline I figured they’d named it “Goofy”

  5. mike shupp says:

    The rules don’t permit naming a planet, even a “minor planet”, for a living person, which is the main reason the “Biden” designation won’t last. Unfortunately, it’s just a bit too far out, and a little bit too isolated — if 2012 VP113 were in the asteroid belt, it’s a small enough body that the name might be allowed.

  6. bill says:

    @Dave Schuler: good one, i thought they were renaming uranus!

  7. Tyrell says:

    @mike shupp: “a little far out”: well, that would be very appropriate.