VP Joe Biden gets his own planet

By Amy Cherry 3:35pm, March 27, 2014
Vice President Joe Biden (WDEL/File)
Vice President Joe Biden really is out of this world.

WDEL's Amy Cherry explains.

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A small, frozen pink planet that orbits 7.5 billion miles from the sun is named after Vice President Joe Biden.

It's official name 2012 VP113 is a mouthful, so scientists are just calling it Biden.

"We noticed the VP, and we didn't want to keep calling it that name, so we just called it 'Biden' jokingly, and it picked up steam from there," said Scott Sheppard with the Carnegie Institution for Science.

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Sheppard was part of the team that discovered planet "Biden," tracking it with a new camera on a ground telescope in Chile.

He jokes the planet's name shares similarities with Biden too.

"The name was so longwinded, we also thought of Biden because the name was kind of longwinded," joked Sheppard.

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Biden won't have his own planet forever. Scientists will study the planet's orbit for the next three years before officially naming it.

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