Group V Dwarf Planets

According to the people who set definitions for planetary science, a dwarf planet is a celestial body that: Orbits the sun. Has enough mass to assume a nearly round shape. Has not cleared the neighbourhood around its orbit. Is not a moon.
They are more commonly known for being small, planet-like objects that are not moons. The main distinction between a dwarf planet and a planet (except the obvious size difference) is that planets have cleared the path around the sun while dwarf planets orbit in zones of similar objects that can cross their path around the sun, such as the asteroid and Kuiper belts. The five dwarf planets in and around our solar system are Ceres, Pluto, Eris, Makemake and Haumea. Scientists believe there may be dozens or even more than 100 dwarf planets awaiting discovery. Ceres is located inside the asteroid belt between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter, while the other dwarf planets are located in the outer solar system by the Kuiper belt. The largest dwarf planet is either Pluto or Eris, followed by Makemake, Haumea and Ceres being the smallest dwarf planet. Currently it is thought that Pluto is the largest but we will know more of the New Horizons mission by NASA ever reaches Pluto. They originally predicted that they'd be there sometime in 2015. About that…

The order of the dwarf planets from closest to the Sun outwards is Ceres, Pluto, Haumea, Makemake and Eris is the furthest from the Sun. Pluto, which from its discovery in 1930 up until that year was considered the ninth planet in the Solar System, is now not classified as an actual planet and has become a dwarf planet. The main reason why they moved Pluto to a dwarf planet is that its orbit is largely full with other objects that weaves its path around the Sun. These objects include other celestial objects in the Kuiper Belt. Pluto and Eris are part of the Kuiper Belt, in fact, the orbital paths of Eris and Pluto cross each other. In comparison, the orbits of the remaining eight planets do not contain other celestial bodies, and they never cross each other’s path. The resolution that led to the classification of Pluto as a dwarf planet was not without its share of controversy. Some planetary scientists objected to the rules because they believed a planet, and therefore a dwarf planet, should be judged based on its essential qualities and not what is or isn’t in its neighbourhood orbital path. This also creates a different standard for an object to be considered a planet, one that is based on size and distance: If an object is deemed too small and is too far away from the Sun, then it must not be a planet.


Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License