Astrophysics (index)about

dwarf planet

(round like a planet, only smaller)

The term dwarf planet was coined to apply to solar system objects that are like planets but smaller. Planets and dwarf planets are massive enough to settle into a sphere, but a "full/true/official" planet (per IAU) is also massive enough to clear out a lane through which it orbits (a criteria termed clearing the neighborhood). Dwarf planet is a subtype of a minor planet, essentially any solar system object larger than a meteoroid that is not a comet, moon, or "full" planet.

In particular, the term dwarf planet was coined for Pluto when similar objects became known. The other known examples are Ceres, Haumea, Makemake, and Eris. Other observed, but poorly-resolved bodies may fit the description and there may be more as yet unseen.


(minor planets,solar system,object type)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dwarf_planet

Referenced by:
Earth
facula
International Astronomical Union (IAU)
minor planet
planet
Pluto
plutoid
planetary mass object (PMO)
solar system
SSSB
Titius-Bode law
Triton

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