Dwarf Planets / Plutoids

Dwarf_Comparison1.jpgDwarf Planets Definition
According to the International Astronomical Union, which sets definitions for planetary science, a dwarf planet is a celestial body that:
--Orbits the Sun.
--Has enough mass to assume a nearly round shape.
--Has not cleared the neighborhood around its orbit.
--Is not a moon.
The main distinction between a dwarf planet and a planet is that planets have cleared the path around the Sun while dwarf planets tend to orbit in zones of similar objects that can cross their path around the Sun, such as the asteroid and Kuiper Belts. Dwarf planets also are generally smaller than the planet Mercury.
Known Dwarf Planets and Plutoids:
-- Ceres, Pluto, Makemake, Haumea and Eris

PowerPoints

Plutoids.ppt
Planet Definition.ppt

Related MGG Portal Resources
Pluto
New Horizons

NASA Solar System

NinePlanetsButton.jpg

Additional Web Links

Dwarf Planets - Caltech

Dwarf Planets- Wikipedia

Pluto Facts and Figures - JPL
Missions to Explore Pluto - JPL

Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature

Planetary Society

Images
Click on image for larger view.

EightTNOs.pngLargest Known Trans-Neptunian Objects

KBO_Size.jpgLargest Known Kuiper Belt Objects

Interactive

SS-simulator.jpgSolar System Simulator - JPL

logo-eotss-main.pngEyes on the Universe - JPL
JPL created this 3-D environment, which allows you to explore the solar system from their computers.

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