Science: Ba

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So far as earthlings were concerned, the planet Pluto celebrated its "first birthday"' last week. A year ago the astronomers at the Lowell Observatory, Flagstaff, Ariz., spotted Pluto where the late Percival Lowell had calculated it should be (TIME, March 24).

Pluto's birthday was baptismal day for one of his tiny solar congeners. Professor Lacchini of the Pino Torinese Observatory at Turin had on Jan. 19 detected a strange little glow between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter where twirl a thousand or so plan-etoids, fragments of what might have been a tenth planet. Professor Lacchini's glow is another recognized planetoid, a chunk of rock about 15 miles in diameter. Like the nine mammoth planets it wanly reflects the Sun's light to watchful earthlings. Provisionally it bears a nursery name, Ba—"a" for being the first planetoid discovered during "B," the second fortnight of January.