Dwarf Planets

Dwarf planets are celestial bodies orbiting around the Sun that are not counted as planets because of their small size. Find questions about the different Dwarf Planets here.

2,037 Questions
Dwarf Planets
The Solar System

What do planets and dwarf planets have in common?

Planets and Dwarf Planets are both round, unlike asteroids, which are potato shaped.

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Planetary Science
Dwarf Planet Pluto
Dwarf Planets

Is Pluto a dwarf planet?

Yes, according to the current definitions, Pluto is considered a "dwarf planet" along with 4 other dwarf planets.

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Astronomy
Planetary Science
Dwarf Planets
The Shining

Why planets do not twinkle?

Because they're close enough to not be point sources.

Stars are so far away that they have no discernable disc, even through a telescope (with a couple of exceptions for truly huge stars that are relatively nearby, and very very powerful telescopes). That means that optically, all their light is coming from a single "point". If there is any distortion in the atmosphere at all... and there is always some distortion in the atmosphere... the starlight gets "bent" out of its straight line path a little, which makes the star seem to waver and twinkle.

Planets, however, are close enough that their light comes from a (very small, but not exactly zero) area. If the light gets bent a little, then you still get light from most of the rest of that area, so planets do not appear to twinkle.

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Planet Mercury
Dwarf Planets
Asteroids

What is the AU of Mercury?

Earth: P = 1

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Trees
Dwarf Planets
Height

How tall is a dwarf?

4foot 10inches

353637
Planetary Science
Dwarf Planet Pluto
Dwarf Planets

Why isn't Ganymede a dwarf planet?

It isn't a dwarf planet because it orbits around Jupiter, and it's a moon. If you included moons in the criteria for dwarf planets, then Earth's moon could be a dwarf planet, too.

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Animated and Children's Movies
Snow White
Dwarf Planets

Out of the seven dwarfs which ones name is not an adjective?

doc

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Dwarf Planets
The Solar System

What are the dwarf planets?

The current list of "dwarf planets" (round bodies that orbit the Sun independently) includes, in order of their orbital distance :

  • Ceres (950 km in diameter and 1/3 of the total mass of the asteroid belt)
  • Pluto (2390 km in diameter and formerly the 9th solar planet)
  • Haumea (ellipsoid Kuiper Belt object about 1/3 Pluto's mass)
  • Makemake (about 1800 km in diameter and a bit farther out than Haumea)
  • Eris (at 2500 km in diameter and 1.27 the mass of Pluto, the largest discovered Kuiper object. With Dysnomia, its moon, it orbits the Sun once in 557 years.)

Candidates for dwarf planet status include Sedna, pending verification of its mass and shape. (Sedna's closest approach to the Sun is barely within the Kuiper Belt, and its orbit may extend to nearly 1000 AU, into the Oort Cloud of comets.) Other Kuiper Belt bodies include Quaoar, Orcus, and Varuna. Pluto's moon Charon, and the large asteroids Vesta, Pallas, and Hygiea are also listed as potential candidates for dwarf planet status.
The Four dwaf plants are PLui

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Dwarf Planets
The Solar System

Which is the biggest planet in the world?

Actually contrary to popular belief, rocks contain most of the matter in the world and therefore due to the Heisenberg uncertainty principle, we can logically assume that rocks are actually the largest planets in the world

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Dwarf Planets
The Solar System

Could you show me pictures of all the planets?

You can't do much better than nineplanets.org - See related link

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Dwarf Planets
Dwarf Planet Eris

What is the gravity of the dwarf planet Eris?

1/12 of that on Earth

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Books and Literature
Comedies and Funny Movies
Dwarf Planets
Celebrity Births Deaths and Ages

Is Mary Gaitskill bisexual or something similar?

I'm sure I have no idea what the questioner intended by "or something similar" -- in fact that addition makes me question the value of answering at all -- but here goes:

Mary Gaitskill married writer Peter Trachtenberg in 2001. That is a matter of public record.

She certainly writes in great detail about the wider theme of women's sexuality, including activity that could be described as bisexual or lesbian.

However her public statements do not seem, after searching in some detail, to include anything that could be labeled "bisexual".

Which leads us back to the question. The value of a basically meaningless label like "bisexual" (Now? In the past? Engaged in a specific activity once?) in any discussion must be questioned.

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Planetary Science
Dwarf Planet Pluto
Dwarf Planets

Is the planet Pluto a girl or a boy?

yes

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Planetary Science
Dwarf Planet Pluto
Dwarf Planets

Is zena and Pluto a planet if not why?

No, neither Xena or Pluto are planets because scientists reckon they're too small. Pluto was a planet until 2005, when it was declared "another celestial body, probably made of clusters of asteroids."

Hope this helped!:-)

313233
Astronomy
Planetary Science
Dwarf Planets
Planet Earth

Is Earth the smallest planet?

No, Earth isn't the smallest planet.

Earth is the fifth largest planet in our Solar System. It is larger than all the other inner (or 'Rocky') planets (Venus, Mars and Mercury) but smaller than the 4 outer planets (Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune) .

Mercury is the smallest planet despite the fact that a multitude of smaller objects orbit the Sun. This is because the definition of 'planet' requires the object be within a certain size bracket, Mercury is the smallest object that fits the required criteria.

These smaller objects are either 'dwarf planets' (a group containing Pluto and Ceres among others) or 'Small Solar System Bodies' which is everything else including comets, asteroids and trans-Neptunian objects.

Use the link below for more information.

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Dwarf Planets
Dwarf Planet Pluto

What happens to nitrogen and oxygen in Pluto's atmosphere?

The freeze.

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Science
Chemistry
Dwarf Planets
Atoms and Atomic Structure

What is the smallest thing in the Universe?

Depending on how you define smallest, the smallest thing in the universe could be a quark or a neutrino, which has a mass barely more than zero.

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Planetary Science
Dwarf Planet Pluto
Dwarf Planets

Is Pluto considered a planet?

Pluto was considered a planet when it was discovered in 1930.

However, as technology increased it became apparent that there were several other bodies in the same area as Pluto - called the Kuyper Belt - including one later named Eris that was slightly larger than Pluto.

Now the IAU had a dilemma, should Eris be a planet or not. If so, what definition should be applied to an orbiting body to be a planet. In 2006 they came up with a definition that would prevent a rapidly changing number of bodies from being defined as planets. [See related question]

Pluto did not ft the definition, so it was now classified as a dwarf planet, along with other objects even farther from the Sun.

313233
Astronomy
Planetary Science
Dwarf Planets

How small can a planet be before it is classified as a dwarf?

The definition of "planet" doesn't specifically list a minimum size. The term is instead defined dynamically: in order to be considered a planet, the body must have "cleared the neighborhood of its orbit". Roughly speaking, this means anything approximately the same distance from the Sun as the potential planet must be either much, much smaller or a satellite (or both) of the planet.

For example: There are several thousand known asteroids that come near or cross Earth's orbit. However, they have a much lower mass than the Earth; even if you lumped them all together into a single body, they'd still have a much lower mass than the Earth. So Earth has "cleared its neighborhood" and is a planet.

Ceres is the largest known asteroid; large enough for its own mass to have pulled it into an approximately spherical shape (this is another criterion that planets have to meet). It also has a lot of asteroids that are near or cross its orbit, and it's the largest of them ... but it's not nearly as dominant as Earth is; Ceres only represents a bit over a third of the total mass of the asteroid belt (the next largest asteroid is about a third of Ceres' mass). Ceres therefore has not cleared its neighborhood and is not a planet (it's a dwarf planet, because it does have that approximately spherical shape, which is technically called "hydrostatic equilibrium").

How about Pluto? It turns out that Pluto's orbit crosses that of Neptune (not literally; there's no possibility they could collide). So it's nowhere near even being the largest thing in its neighborhood, and therefore not a planet (despite being considerably larger than Ceres).

The smallest object in the Solar System that's definitely a planet is Mercury, which has a radius of almost 2500 km. The largest (known) object in the solar system that's definitely not a planet (and also not a moon) is either Eris or Pluto; we're not quite sure which because they're both very close to 1160 km radius. So somewhere between the two might be a rough answer. (It turns out that it's easier to clear your orbit if your orbit is closer to the Sun; a Mercury-sized body out beyond Neptune probably wouldn't make the cut.)

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Dwarf Planet Pluto
Dwarf Planets
The Solar System

Why do people believe that pluto is still a planet?

  1. Many just don't know any different. It was not widely publicised.
  2. Old habits and memories from school still hold true.
  3. Many just don't like change - "It's always been a planet, so why change it"
  4. Some like the idea of lots of planets - makes the Solar System more popular.

At the end of the day, it doesn't really matter - it's still just a cold lump of rock.

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Planetary Science
Dwarf Planets

Are dwarf planets considered planets?

no, they are dwarf planets. Pluto is not a planet, it is a dwarf planet. The difference is that dwarf planets have an eccentric or elliptical orbit, and that they are small. the dwarf planets in our solar system are kuiper belt objects.

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Planetary Science
Dwarf Planet Pluto
Dwarf Planets

Is Pluto the only dwarf planet that orbits the Sun?

As far as we can actually PROVE, it is the only dwarf planet that orbits our own Sun. However, there has long been some speculation that there may be another dwarf planet out beyond Pluto, that is even smaller, but which is too far away from the Sun to be seen with optical instruments. It has also been debated that some large meteorites that orbit the Sun between the orbits of the planets, should maybe be declared as being dwarf planets in their own right.

91011
Astronomy
Planetary Science
Dwarf Planet Pluto
Dwarf Planets

Was Pluto the first planet to be demoted?

Surprisingly, No! Several large asteroids in the belt between Mars and Jupiter were once included as planets. AnswerActually There were only 8 planets before Pluto since the asteroids were never considered planets, so technically Pluto IS the first planet to be demoted. Of course if you want to add to this you could say that the new body, discovered by Mike Brown (2003 UB313) was reclassified as a dwarf planet although it was never officially named a planet. Another wrinkle: The first answer probably comes closer to the truth. Remember that there was no generally accepted definition of planet until recently, so controversy and debate abounded. The reason there were 8 generally accepted planets prior to Pluto is because those that had at one time been considered by some to belong on the list, Ceres, Pallas, Juno, Vesta and others, had been removed over time. These are among the bodies between Mars and Jupiter mentioned above. more detail The only planets visible to the naked eye were the first 5 planets. Asteroids and other bodies were not identifiable until the development of the telescope. Actually, by the time Ceres was discovered (Jan 1, 1801) Uranus' discovery was 20 years old so I don't believe Ceres was ever considered a planet. It is now considered a minor planet under new classification so Ceres has been promoted.

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Planetary Science
Dwarf Planet Pluto
Dwarf Planets

Why do all planets orbit the sun in the same direction?

It has to do with the formation of the solar system. Since all of the matter that condensed into what makes the solar system bodies was spinning in the same direction while coming together, it would have taken a drastic event to cause one of the bodies to orbit in a different direction.

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Planetary Science
Dwarf Planet Pluto
Dwarf Planets

What is the hardest planet to observe visually?

Junior regino saucedos balls

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