Category: Dwarf Planets

Interesting information about Ceres – A Dwarf Planet

Ceres was first considered as an asteroid. It was named and discovered by an Italian Astronomer – Giuseppe Piazzi in early 1801. The astronomers have planned to visit Ceres in 2015. NASA’s Dawn Spacecraft is planning and making its way to Ceres since September 2012. There is lots of expectation regarding this planet since Ceres remains as a possible target for human colonization. It has an abundance of minerals, water and ice. If the mission visits the planet, then Ceres will remain as the initial dwarf planet entered by the spacecraft. Ceres is the least massive and smallest planet among the dwarf planets. It has a mysterious white spot. You can see the spots in the recent photos and also in some of the old Hubble photographs.

The pictures were taken by the Dawn spacecraft during their approach. It is said that Ceres loses about six kilograms of mass in the steam. The Herschel Space telescope has observed impressive amounts of water vapour shooting from the Ceres surface. It is said that it was the first time to see water vapour, especially in the asteroid belt. The scientists think that it should be caused due to the warming of icy surfaces in the Ceres. They have discovered fourteen similar objects by the year 1851. They did not take a lengthy time to discover, and thus, it came to be referred as minor planets. After Pluto, Ceres also came under the dwarf planet category in the year 2006. Ceres was often referred as a planet especially in the first fifty years of its discovery.

Other Dwarf Planets in the Solar System

In the solar system, there are dwarf planets like Pluto, Haumea, Eris, Ceres, and Makemake. The Ceres is the only dwarf planet to be situated in the asteroid belt. The remaining dwarf planets are located in the outer solar system. It is estimated that in the year 2015, the New Horizons mission and Dawn mission will reach Pluto and Ceres respectively.

The Dwarf planet has the same characteristics like the other planets, but it has one significant difference. The planet is not a satellite. The Pluto or Eris could be the largest dwarf planet. Haumea and Makemake follow Pluto and Eris. One of the smallest dwarf planets is the Eris. You can see the dwarf planets in the order like Ceres, Pluto, Makemake, and Haumea as closest to the sun. The Eris will be farther from the sun.

Interesting information about Pluto

It was discovered in 1930. It is said to be the second planet near the sun. It was called as ninety planets in the solar system. Eris is the massive planet and Pluto is the second massive dwarf planet. There are five known moons in this planet. Clyde W. Tombaugh discovered Pluto. It has the surface temperature of -229 degree Celsius. It was discovered on February 1, 1930. It has got the name Pluto because of the Greek god. It has five known moons, and they are Styx, Kerberos, Hydra, Nix, and Charon. It is nearly round in shape. The planet Pluto has unoccupied the region around its orbit.

Interesting information about Haumea

It is in the third position among other dwarf planets to the sun. It has a unique elongated shape. It has two known moons. The surface temperate of the Haumea planet is -241 degree Celsius. It was discovered on December 28, 2004. The elongation of the planet could be due to its rotation.