Questions regarding bodies smaller than planets but larger than other bodies, that do not meet at least one of the IAU's criteria for being a planet.

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34
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3answers
4k views

How many planets are there in this solar system?

So, in school (that's a long time age) they have been teaching us there are 9 planets in our solar system. Mercury Venus Earth Mars Jupiter Saturn Uranus Neptune Pluto But every now and then I ...
14
votes
2answers
525 views

What physical features determine if a planet is a major, minor or dwarf planet?

Like many, when I was growing up, we always were taught, hence always learned that there were 9 planets. However, recently, decisions were made and all of a sudden there were 8 major planets and a ...
12
votes
6answers
2k views

Is Pluto still a dwarf planet?

Recent news seem to suggest that astronomers are arguing about whether Pluto should become a planet again. However, I cannot find an official source for this. Is this actually true?
10
votes
1answer
217 views

How did scientists determine an estimate of the number of planets greater than Sedna's size to exist in the Inner Oort Cloud?

In the article, New Dwarf Planet Found at Solar System's Edge, Hints at Possible Faraway 'Planet X' (Wall, 2014) where they report on research and observations performed by astronomers that discovered ...
9
votes
3answers
311 views

Planets and Pluto? Neptune?

If one of the rules to be a planet is that it needs to clear ALL objects from their orbit, does this also make Neptune a non-planet? Since it has thus far failed to clear Pluto (and based on an answer ...
9
votes
1answer
182 views

How can astronomers determine the difference between “hydrostatic equilibrium” and “just happens to be spherical”?

This is relevant for the definition of a dwarf planet. I presume the answer will be, well, if we can tell the mass of the body and guess the material. I don't find this very satisfactory because ...
8
votes
1answer
150 views

Can there be an object with planetary discriminant between Ceres and Neptune?

The planetary discriminant is a measure of how dominant a body is within its region of the solar system. For (true) planets, it is >10000 and for dwarf planets it is <1. See this answer for more ...
7
votes
1answer
158 views

Pluto- Current theories regarding its geological nature?

The images of New Horizons from Pluto will take more a year to arrive from space, for the moment with have some compressed images as a preview. Nasa has advanced some information regarding the ...
6
votes
2answers
151 views

Likelihood of a stable system with a dwarf planet's orbit inside that of a gas giant

I keep thinking of various planetary system configurations, and would like to know: What are the fundamental references based on Monte Carlo long-term simulation of planetary systems' evolution that ...
4
votes
1answer
49 views

Is Ceres a terrestrial-type (dwarf) planet?

Does Ceres belong to the terrestrial-type celestial bodies?
3
votes
1answer
222 views

How long does it take Dawn to orbit Ceres?

I haven't been able to find the orbit time of Dawn around Ceres. Do you know how long it takes?
2
votes
1answer
36 views

IAU Dwarf planet definition Point 2.b - is not a satellite

I am a bit confused with point 2.d of the IAU's resolution on dwarf planets. (2) A "dwarf planet" is a celestial body that (a) is in orbit around the Sun (b) has sufficient mass for its ...
1
vote
3answers
239 views

Brown Dwarf transcending past the sun with the naked eye [closed]

I seen with my naked eye in mid 2014 from Ca. right after sunrise a black spot in front of the Sun.I observed it for about a hour with my naked eye. Here is a picture that closely resembles what I ...
1
vote
1answer
54 views

Is the Dwarf Planet class really necessary?

Another way of asking this is, what is the difference between dwarf planets and asteroids? Aren't they the same things? It's just that some asteroids are spherical and others aren't...or is there ...
1
vote
1answer
67 views

What is the danger for Ceres of collision with other asteroids?

In the context of possible colonization of Ceres, would not such colony be totally impossible because of high probability of collision of Ceres with other asteroids in the Asteroid Belt?
1
vote
1answer
50 views

When the set of official dwarf planets is expected to increase?

When the set of official dwarf planets is expected to increase or new bodies considered for inclusion?