MARK GARLICK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MARK GARLICK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Orbit of Ceres. Computer artwork showing the orbit of the dwarf planet Ceres (left) in relation to the planets Mars (closest to the Sun) and Jupiter (bottom right). A dwarf planet is an object that fails to dominate its orbit around the Sun (unlike a true planet), but which still has an independent orbit (unlike moons), and is large enough to be spherical due to gravity. Ceres, which is part of the asteroid belt (blue), fails to dominate its orbit, and thus is classed as a dwarf planet. The other known asteroids are too small to be dwarf planets. For a series of similar diagrams see R300/296 - R300/299.
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