The “dwarf planet” is a term coined by IAU (International Astronomical Union) in 2006, to explain the celestial objects whose orbit is not clear. It may share the path with asteroids or comets.
What is a dwarf planet?
The IAU (International Astronomical Union) set definitions for planetary science. According to them…
A dwarf planet is a celestial body that:
(a) is in orbit around the Sun,
(b) has sufficient mass for its self-gravity to overcome rigid body forces so that it assumes a hydrostatic equilibrium (nearly round) shape,
(c) has not cleared the neighborhood around its orbit, and
(d) is not a satellite.
Facts About The Dwarf Planets
- As of 2011, the IAU (International Astronomical Union) has officially recognized 5 dwarf planets. They are: Ceres, Eris, Haumea, Makemake & Pluto.
- It is estimated that there are 1000’s of dwarf planets yet to be discovered.
- The dwarf planets that orbit beyond Neptune are called Plutoids. They exist in Kupier Belt. As of now there are 4 plutoids they are Eris, Haumea, Makemake & Pluto.
- Ceres is the only dwarf planet to revolve in the asteroid belt of Mars and Jupiter.
- The order of the dwarf planet from the sun is Ceres, Pluto, Haumea, Makemake and Eris.
- The largest dwarf planet is Pluto.
- The smallest dwarf planet is Ceres.
Dwarf Planet Ceres Facts
- Ceres is the 1st dwarf planet from the Sun.
- The dwarf planet Ceres was discovered on January 1, 1801 by Giuseppe Piazzi.
- It was classified as an asteroid, but was reclassified as a dwarf planet on September 13, 2006.
- It is the only dwarf planet that orbits in the asteroid belt, which is in between Mars and Jupiter.
- Ceres is the largest object in the asteroid belt.
- Ceres is the smallest dwarf planet.
- It is the only dwarf planet which has no moon.
Dwarf Planet Pluto Facts
- Pluto is the 2nd dwarf planet from the Sun.
- The dwarf planet Pluto was discovered on February 18, 1930 by Clyde W. Tombaugh.
- It was considered as the 9th planet of the solar system for 76 years from 1930 to 2006 but the planet Pluto was reclassified as a dwarf planet on August 24, 2006.
- It is the largest dwarf planet.
- The dwarf planet Pluto has 5 moons they are: Charon, Hydra, Kerberos, Nix and Styx.
Dwarf Planet Haumea Facts
- Haumea is the 3rd dwarf planet from the Sun.
- The dwarf planet Haumea was discovered in the year 2003. It is disputed whether Mike Brown & team or José Luis Ortiz Moreno & team discovered first.
- On September 17, 2008 Haumea was classified as a dwarf planet.
- It is the 4th largest dwarf planet.
- The dwarf planet Haumea has 2 moons they are Hi’iaka & Namaka.
Dwarf Planet Makemake Facts
- Makemake is the 4th dwarf planet from the Sun.
- The dwarf planet Makemake was discovered on March 31, 2005 by Michael E. Brown, Chad Trujillo & David Rabinowitz.
- It was classified as a dwarf planet on July 11, 2008.
- It is the 3rd largest dwarf planet.
- The dwarf planet Makemake has 1 moon named MK 2 – S/2015 (136472) 1.
Dwarf Planet Eris Facts
- Eris is the last dwarf planet from the Sun.
- The dwarf planet Eris was spotted in 2003 by Chad Trujillo of the Gemini Observatory; David Rabinowitz of Yale University; and Mike Brown, a professor of planetary astronomy at the California Institute of Technology.
- On January 5, 2005, the discovery of the planet Eris was confirmed. It was initially classified as the 10th planet. On September 13, 2006 it was reclassified as a dwarf planet.
- It is the 2nd largest dwarf planet.
- The dwarf planet Eris has 1 moon named Dysnomia.