Dwarf planets in the Solar system

We all know very well about planets but Dwarf planet is a newly adopted term since past one decade. First of all let’s see what are they?

credit:- Nasa.gov
Dwarf planet Ceres

According to the definition adopted by IAU a dwarf planet is such celestial body which:-

  1. Which revolves around the Sun
  2. Which has sufficient mass to be rounded by it’s own gravity.
  3. Shouldn’t have cleared it’s orbit.

The first two properties are same in Planets and Dwarf planets, the difference comes in the third point a planets clears it’s orbit but a Dwarf Planet fails to do so.

Till now there are five Dwarf planets are found in our solar system viz. Ceres, Pluto, Haumea, Makemake, and Eris. Out of these five Ceres lies in the asteroid belt and is the only Dwarf planet to lie in the inner solar system and the other four lies in the outer solar system. Ceres is also the first dwarf planet to be visited by a space probe named Dawn.

The largest of these five is Pluto followed by Eris, Makemake, Haumea and the Ceres.

Comparison of sizes of the dwarf planets from Ceres to Eris.

In terms of distance from the Sun, Ceres is the nearest dwarf planet form the Sun is 2.77 AU from the Sun and it is followed by Pluto(39.26AU), Haumea(43.14AU), makemake(45.8AU), Eris(68 AU). All the dwarf planets are round in shape except Haumea which is ellipsoidal in shape. It’s ellipsoidal shape can be explained by it’s very high frequency of rotation.

Published by Physicsmania

Physics beyond imagination

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