LYNETTE COOK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY LYNETTE COOK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
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.
Model release not required. Property release not required.