Glossary term: Dwarf Planet
Description: A dwarf planet is a celestial body with the following properties: it orbits around the Sun, has enough mass to obtain a semi-spherical shape, has not cleared its path along its orbit, and is not a moon. Dwarf planets tend to orbit in regions made up of similar bodies, as in the case of the asteroid belt and Kuiper belt. In general, dwarf planets are smaller than Mercury, with icy rocky structures and no rings. The amount of ice relative to the rocks depends on their position in the Solar System. Pluto is the most famous dwarf planet.Related Terms:
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Term and definition status: This term and its definition is still awaiting approval
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PlutoCaption: NASA's New Horizons spacecraft captured this high-resolution enhanced colour view of the dwarf planet Pluto on in July 2015. The image combines blue, red and infrared images taken by the Ralph/Multispectral Visual Imaging Camera (MVIC). Pluto’s surface appears enhanced in this view to a rainbow of pale blues, yellows, oranges, and deep reds. The image resolves details and colours on scales as small as 1.3 kilometers.
Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute credit link
License: PD Public Domain icons
CeresCaption: True-colour image of the asteroid Ceres acquired by the spaceprobe Dawn in May 2015, at a distance of 13641 km. The prominent, bright crater at right is Haulani. The smaller bright spot to its left is exposed on the floor of Oxo. Ejecta from these impacts appears to have exposed bright material, probably water ice.
Credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech / UCLA / MPS / DLR / IDA / Justin Cowart
License: CC-BY-2.0 Creative Comments Attribution 2.0 Generic icons