how many dwarf planets in our solar system
Dwarf Planets

How many Dwarf Planets in our Solar System – In Order

Last Updated on September 24, 2021

Apart from Stars, Planets, our solar system is filled with many such comical things, which makes us even more curious to know about our solar system. Among them, a unique world is a “dwarf planet”.

Dwarf Planets are round in shape and directly orbit the sun just like the other eight planets do. The first five recognized dwarf planets in our solar system (in order) are Ceres, Pluto, Eris, Makemake and Haumea.

Here in this article, I have mentioned all the facts about dwarf planets and the difference between Planets and Dwarf Planets. Read this article completely.

Dwarf Planets vs Planets

  • The Planets is a large space object which reflects the light of a star around which it revolves (The circling of the smaller object around a larger object). It orbit the sun in their own comical way.
  • Dwarf Planet is a new type of astronomical object that was created in 2006 by IAU.

Now, According to IAU (International Astronomical Union)

The Planet is a celestial body that,

  • Orbit around the star (Sun).
  • Have enough mass so that it assumes a hydrostatic equilibrium shape (round in shape) due to its own gravity.
  • Have cleared the neighbourhood around its orbit.

And, the Dwarf Planet is a celestial body that,

  • Orbit around the Star (Sun).
  • Have enough mass so that it assumes a hydrostatic equilibrium shape (round in shape) due its own gravity.
  • Have not cleared the neighbourhood around its orbit.
  • Is not a Satellite.

So, the main difference between the planet and the dwarf planet is the “Mass”. Well, dwarf planets lack mass as compared to planets. So they are unable to clear the smaller neighborhood objects or unable to put together all of the material found in their orbits.

All the recognized dwarf planets are even smaller than our natural satellite moon.

How many Dwarf Planets in our Solar System?

According to the IAU, there are currently five officially dwarf planets in our solar system. These are:- Ceres, Pluto, Eris, Makemake, Haumea.

But in the near future, only in the Kuiper Belt region, there may be more than 100 objects that can be classified as dwarf planets.

Kuiper Belt:-  This distant region is called the Kuiper Belt and extends far beyond the orbit of Neptune.

Asteroid Belt:- The region of space lies between the orbit of Mars and Jupiter is called asteroid belt. Most of the asteroid are found here in our solar system that orbit the sun.

Some other possible dwarf planets that is not still officially recognized by IAU are:- Orcus, Sedna, Quaoar, TNOs, Varuna, Ixion, 2003AZ84, 2004GV9, 2002AW197, and even more.

Official 5 Dwarf Planets

Note:- The distance of the planets from the given below are taken from the official website of NASA.

1. Ceres

Ceres is the smallest known dwarf planet in our solar system with “952 km (592 miles)” that revolve around the Sun in an orbit between Mars and Jupiter.

ceres dwarf planet of solar system
Credit- NASA

Ceres is the smallest dwarf planet but, it is the largest object in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. It is the only dwarf planet located in the inner solar system. An Italian astronomer, named “Giuseppe Piazzi”, who discovered Ceres on January 1, 1801.

Fact:- Since its invention in 1801, Ceres has been acknowledged as a comet, a planet, an asteroid, and a dwarf planet.

  • How Ceres got its name:- Ceres is named after an ancient Roman goddess of corn and harvest.
  • Location:- Asteroid Belt
  • Formation:- 4.6 billion years ago
  • Length of Year:- 4.6 Earth Years (1,682 Earth days)
  • Average distance from the Sun:- 413 million km (257 million miles)
  • Number of Moons:- 0
  • One way light time to the Sun:- 22 minutes

2. Pluto

Pluto is the largest known dwarf planet of our solar system with 2,370 km (1,473 miles) that revolve around the sun in a region called Kuiper belt.

It was called the 9th planet of our Solar System for a very long time. Then later, after finding a similar intriguing world like this, in the region of the Kuiper Belt, Pluto was re-classified as a dwarf planet in August 2006 by IAU.

pluto dwarf planet
Credit – NASA

An American astronomer named, “Clyde W. Tombaugh”, who discovered pluto on February 18, 1930.

  • How Pluto got its name:- Pluto is named after the roman god of the underworld.
  • Location:- Kuiper belt
  • Formation:- 4.5 billion years ago
  • Length of Year:- 248 Earth Years (90,560 Earth days)
  • Average distance from the Sun:- 5.9 billion km (3.7 billion miles)
  • Number of Moons:- 5, (Charon, Nix, Hydra, Kerberos, and Styx)
  • One way light time to the Sun:- 285+ minutes

3. Eris

Eris is the second largest and the most massive known dwarf planet of the solar system with a diameter about 2,326km (1,445 miles).

When Eris was first discovered, it was considered to be a dwarf planet larger than Pluto. But after doing more observations, it was concluded that Eris is slightly smaller than Pluto.

eris dwarf planet
Credit – NASA

An American astronomer named “Michael E. Brown”, who discovered Eris on January 5, 2005, based on the data obtained on October 21, 2003.

  • How Eris got its name:- Eris is named after the ancient Greek goddess of discord and strife.
  • Location:- Kuiper Belt
  • Formation:- 4.5 billion years ago
  • Length of Year:- 557 Earth Years
  • Average distance from the Sun:- 10.1 billion km (6.2 billion miles)
  • Number of moons:- 1 (Dysnomia)
  • One way light time to the Sun:- 540+ minutes

4. Makemake

Makemake is the third largest known dwarf planet after Pluto and Eris with a diameter about 1,430 km (888 miles) in the region called Kuiper belt.

This dwarf planet was observed in 2005, just a few months after the discovery of Eris. Then later, in the year 2008, it was officially recognized by the IAU.

makemake dwarf planet
Credit – NASA

FACT:- After Pluto, Makemake is the brightest object in the Kuiper Belt region that can also be seen from Earth.

A team of three American astronomers named “Michael E. Brown, Chad Trujillo and David L. Rabinowitz”, who discovered Makemake on 31st March 2005.

  • How Makemake got its name:- Makemake is named after the god of fertility in Rapanui mythology.
  • Location:- Kuiper belt
  • Formation:- 4.5 billion years ago
  • Length of Year:- 305 Earth years
  • Average distance from the Sun:- 6.85 billion km
  • Number of Moons:- 1 (Not Confirmed)
  • One way light time to the Sun:- 6hrs and 20mins

5. Haumea

Haumea is the fifth known dwarf planet with a diameter about 1240 km (710 miles) located in the Kuiper belt region. It is approximately 1/14 the size of the radius of the Earth.

Haumea was discovered in the year 2004, but it was officially recognized as a dwarf planet in the year 2008 by IAU.

FACT:- This dwarf planet had some other name before it was named Haumea. That name was “Santa”. Because it was discovered just after Christmas by a team from Caltech

An American Astronomer, “Michael E. Brown” and a Spanish Astronomer “Jose Luis Ortiz Moreno”, discovered Haumea on December 28, 2004.

  • How Haumea got its name:- Haumea is named after the Hawaiian goddess of childbirth and fertility.
  • Location:- Kuiper belt
  • Formation:- 4.5 billion years ago
  • Length of Year:- 285 Earth Years
  • Average distance from the Sun:- 6.5 billion km
  • Number of Moons:- 2 (Namaka, Hi’iaka)
  • One way light time to the Sun:- 6 hours

Conclusion

In conclusion, So above are all the 5 dwarf planets that have been identified by the IAU so far in our solar system or beyond the solar system. There are many possible dwarf planets that are not officially listed as dwarf planets but may be listed in the future.

Read Also:- The Planets in Order from Smallest to Largest – (Sizes)

I hope you like this article. If you have any questions, please let me know in the comment box.

Thank You

Vivek kumar

Hii, I am Vivek Kumar. I am a student Pursuing Computer science in language Python from the certified online course platform and learning Artificial Intelligence. I have completed my graduation with physics honors. I Love to travel, writing an article, and help others.

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