What are dwarf planets?

Pluto was recently reclassified as a dwarf planet

In our solar system, there are planets known as dwarf planets. The International Astronomical Union (IAU) defines a dwarf planet as a celestial body orbiting the Sun that is massive enough to be spherical as a result of its own gravity but has not cleared its neighboring region of planetesimals and is not a satellite. The IAU adopted the term “dwarf planet” in 2006 to characterize bodies orbiting the sun, which are more developed than asteroids but still different than the known planets.

There are currently five recognized dwarf planets – Ceres, Eris, Haemea, Makemake and Pluto. Ceres is known as the smallest of the dwarf planets. Ceres is the only dwarf planet in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. Pluto, Haumea and Makemake are in the Kuiper belt, while Eris is at the scattered disc (region of the solar system sparsely populated by icy minor planets). The diameters of the dwarf planets are from 950 km to 2800 km. There are a total of 6 moons for all the dwarf planets. Pluto has three moons (Charon, Hydra and Nix), Haumea has two moons (Hi’aka and Namaka) and Eris has one moon (Dysnomia).




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