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Introduction to Solar System 5

Introduction to Solar System 5

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Published by Nilesh Gupta
Dwarf planets- Ceres, Eris, makemake
Dwarf planets- Ceres, Eris, makemake

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Published by: Nilesh Gupta on Apr 19, 2013
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07/22/2014

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IESO

Introduction to Solar System Part 5

18-Apr-13

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Dwarf Planets are objects that orbit the sun.  To be considered a Dwarf planet the object must have enough mass to assume a round shape.  Dwarf Planets are classified as such when they haven’t “ Cleared their neighborhoods” or become gravitationally powerful.  Must be very small

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Diameter: 1,430 mi compared to Earths 7,926 mi.  Distance from sun: about 49.3 (AU)  Length of year: 90,553 days, each day is about 153 hours and 18 min.  Temperature: -387°F to 369°F.

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Discovered in 1930 by Clyde Tombaugh. Orbits in a disk-like zone called the Kuniper belt which consists of mostly icy worlds and objects. Its surface is composed of frozen nitrogen, methane, and carbon monoxide. Three moons orbit Pluto: Hydra, Nix, and Charon. In 2006 the International Astronomical Union classified Pluto as the first Dwarf planet. During its initial discovery Pluto was classified a planet at the Lowell observatory located in Flagstaff, AZ.

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Diameter: 580 mi  Distance from Sun: 2.8 (AU)  Length of year: 4.60 Earth years  Actually not a Planet, it is an Asteroid but because it is round they classify it as a Dwarf planet.

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Discovered in 1801 by a Sicilian astronomer Giuseppe Piazzi.  Might have liquid water underneath its crust.  Located in the space between Mars and Jupiter.  Joined the Dwarf planet name in 2006 along with Pluto.

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Diameter: 1491 mi  Distance from Sun: 67.69 (AU)  Length of year: 557 Earth years  Temperature: -359°F to 406 °F

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First seen in 2003 and then later confirmed in 2005. Larger than Pluto so consideration was given to making it the tenth planet but ultimately it was given the Dwarf planet status. Has one moon, Dsynomia which was used to measure the size of Eris. It lies beyond the Kuniper belt. It’s so cold and far from the sun that its atmosphere collapses and freezes on the surface.

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Its diameter is about 2/3 the size of Pluto.  Distance from the Sun: 52 (AU)  Length of year: 309 Earth years  Temperature:  -242.2°C

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Also located in Kuniper belt.  Was first observed in 2005 at the Palomar Observatory.  Given title of Dwarf planet in 2008.  Surface is covered with frozen nitrogen, ethane, and methane.  Its reddish color comes from Tholins which are made when ultra-violet light interacts with methane and ethane.

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It is about the same size as Pluto  Length of Year: 285 Earth years  Distance from Sun: 43.31  Has two moons: Hi’aka and Namaka

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Also located in the Kuniper belt.  Its odd shape comes from the speed at which it spins. It is believed that long ago it was impacted by another object which set it on its course.  It was discovered in 2003 at the Sierra Nevada Observatory.  Made of rock but has a layer of ice on the outside.

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