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Images: Astronomers see three new planets

Jupiter and Saturn may move farther from the sun in a new lineup of planets proposed by the International Astronomical Union.

The designated dozen would include Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto. The three newcomers would be Ceres, the largest known asteroid which orbits between Mars and Jupiter; Charon, which has been considered Pluto's moon; and the recently discovered 2003 UB313, an object nicknamed Xena that was discovered in 2005 orbiting far beyond Pluto in the outer solar system.

This is an artist's montage of an "expanded" solar system.

NASA

By Bill Detwiler

Bill Detwiler is Editor in Chief of TechRepublic and Tech Pro Research and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop supp...