Dwarf planets and candidate dwarf planets

Dwarf planets and candidate dwarf planets

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Credit: LYNETTE COOK/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Dwarf planets and candidates. Computer artwork of the three dwarf planets (Eris, Pluto and Ceres), 12 dwarf planet candidates and Charon, a satellite of Pluto, next to the Earth (bottom right). A dwarf planet is defined as an object large enough to be spherical due to its gravity, and with an independent orbit around the Sun. A true planet, such as the Earth, has to dominate its orbit around the Sun. Pluto, Eris, 2003 EL61, Orcus, Sedna, 2005 FY9, Quaoar, Ixion, 2002 TX300, Varuna and 2002 AW197 fail because they are some of the many Kuiper Belt objects in the outer solar system. Ceres, Pallas, Vesta and Hygiea fail because they are some of the many objects in the asteroid belt.

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Keywords: 16, 2002 aw197, 2002 tx300, 2003 el61, 2005 fy9, artwork, asteroid, asteroid belt, astronomical, astronomy, candidates, ceres, charon, comparison, cosmology, dwarf planet, dwarf planet candidate, dwarf planets, earth, eris, hygiea, illustration, ixion, kbo, kuiper belt object, labelled, orcus, pallas, planet, planetary, planets, pluto, quaoar, scale, science, sedna, sixteen, size, solar system, space, varuna, vesta

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