By Mackenzie and Ashley
What is a dwarf planet?
1) It must orbit around the sun.
2) It must have enough mass to assume a round shape.
3) It has not cleared its orbital path.
4) It can not be a moon.
Dwarf planets are generally smaller than Mercury. Currently, there are six objects being considered whether or not to be classified as a dwarf planet.
There may be as many as 10,000 dwarf planets.
No dwarf planet can support life as we know.
No known rings around any dwarf planet.
Not all but some dwarf planets have moons.
Some dwarf planets like Eris and Pluto have atmospheres that expand when they are closer to the sun, and collapse as they get further away.
Dwarf planets are made of solid rock and ice. Where they are located in the solar system depends on how much rock and ice it has.
Time on dwarf planets can greatly vary.
The odd tilt of Uranus is probably caused by a collision with a dwarf planet.
- Dwarf planets share their orbital space with other objects similar to their size.
Where are dwarf planets located?
5 Main Dwarf Planets
Pluto is probably the most widely known dwarf planet because it was once a planet, but reclassified as a dwarf planet. Pluto is believed to be the largest dwarf planet, but astronomers are not sure because of Pluto’s thick atmosphere. Pluto is 3.7 billion miles away from the sun and it has a surface temperature of -229ºC. It was discovered on February 18, 1930 by Clyde W. Tombaugh and was reclassified in 2006. It has five moons which are Styx, Nix, Kerberos, Hydra, and Charon which is the biggest one. Pluto’s surface is made up of nitrogen, methane, and carbon monoxide and it has polar caps. One third of Pluto is water in the form of water-ice, but this is three times as much water as there is in all of Earth’s oceans.
Eris is the most massive dwarf planet and the furthest from the sun. It has surface temperature of -231ºC and was almost named as the tenth planet. Eris is so big that all of the objects in the asteroid belt could fit into Eris! It’s only moon is Dysnomia and it was discovered on January 5, 2005 by Michael E. Brown, Chad Trujillo, and David L. Rabinowitz.