Space

This week, astronomers discovered a new dwarf planet at the outer reaches of our solar system. It's a pink, icy ball that's beyond Pluto's orbit. Its official name is 2012 VP113, but scientists have given it the nickname "Biden."

NASA/Aaron Kingery

If you wake up early and the skies are clear, you could be in for a treat this week. A comet named ISON should be visible through binoculars over the southeastern horizon. Astronomy websites have hyped the passage of this comet as the best in more than a decade. But a lot depends on a close encounter with the sun next week.

Photo courtesy Planetary Resources

A new Bellevue-based company has announced plans that sound like they come straight out of science fiction. Planetary Resources intends to send robots to nearby asteroids, and mine them for metals and other resources. The venture is backed by billionaires, rocket scientists, and a Hollywood director.