Ceres (Dwarf Planet): Ceres facts, Atmosphere, Orbit, Size, Moon, Diameter & Composition

Ceres facts

Our solar system has five dwarf planets. They are Pluto, Ceres, Haumea, Makemake, and Eris. Giuseppe Piazzi discovered the dwarf planet Ceres in 1801. Also, It is interesting to know the amazing Ceres facts and information. It has an interesting history. When it was discovered it was thought to be a comet. Later, considered a planet then demoted to an asteroid or minor planet. And then finally promoted to the category of the dwarf planet by the International Astronomical Union (IAU) in 2006.

It is the largest object in the asteroid belt. The asteroid belt is the region full of asteroids between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. Also, it is the only dwarf planet in the asteroid belt.

Ceres Facts And Information

The video below shows some interesting Ceres facts. Also, if you always wonder, what is the difference between a dwarf planet and other space objects like planets and asteroids then this video also addresses this question in a very interesting manner. Go ahead and enjoy watching these Ceres facts!


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Ceres Diameter and Size

It is the largest known object in the asteroid belt. Its diameter is about 950 kilometer or 590 miles. On the other hand, it is also true that it’s the smallest known dwarf planet of our solar system. It is 2.5 (5/2) times smaller than Pluto. Also, it is the 33rd largest known object of our solar system.

Moon

Although, Dawn (Spacecraft) has visited it in 2015. It could not find any moon revolving around it. So, It has no moon. All the other dwarf planets of our solar system have at least one moon. Making it the only dwarf planet of our solar system without a moon!

Orbit and Length of Day

The length of a year depends upon the orbit of an object around the sun. And, length of day depends on how faster the object rotates around its own axis. It follows an orbit in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. It completes its one cycle around the sun in about 4.6 years. That means a year on Ceres is 4.6 (earth) years long! While a day is nearly equal to nine earth hours. Which means it rotates speedily around its own axis.

Mass

Dawn spacecraft measured its mass, which comes out to be 9.39*10^20 Kg. It is the most massive object in the asteroid belt. We estimate that it constitutes one-third of the entire mass of the asteroid belt. On the other hand, Pluto is about 14 times heavier than it.

Ceres Distance from Sun

It is about 2.7 Astronomical Unit away from the sun. Where one AU is the distance of the earth from the sun. In kilometer, It is about 415 million km or 257 million miles away from the sun. Or 22.16 light-minutes away from our sun!

Atmosphere and Surface

It has a thin atmosphere. Scientists believe that it also has some water vapors. Its estimated temperature ranges from minus 143-degree centigrade to minus 73-degree centigrade. Using Hubble Space Telescope, scientists found that it may contain sulfur, graphite and sulfur dioxide. It may also contain some ice, but it is expected to sublime since its distance from the Sun is less than 5 AU. Spacecraft also found hydroxide ions near its surface.

Composition: What is it made of

Like other asteroids in the asteroid belt, it is also made of rocks and ice. Although the information about its composition is limited, scientists think that its surface is the mixture of water ice and various minerals e.g:- carbonates and clay.

Ceres Facts

  • It is the only dwarf planet among millions of asteroids in the asteroid belt. No other asteroid in the asteroid belt meat the conditions of a dwarf planet. Thus, it is the only known dwarf planet in the asteroid belt.
  • Giuseppe Piazzi discovered it in 1801. He first thought it as a comet but lacks the comma. Which showed that it is a planet. In 2006, IAU described it as a dwarf planet.
  • It is the smallest dwarf planet in our solar system. Our solar system has four other dwarf planets i.e Pluto, Eris, Makemake, and Haumea.
  • It contains one-third mass of the asteroid belt. Also, It is the most massive object in the asteroid belt. Its mass is about 9.39*10^20 Kg which is 1/14 of the mass of Pluto.
  • Its one year is equal to earth’s 4.6 years. It completes its one trip around the Sun in 4.6 years or about 1680 days. On the other hand, its one day is shorter than the earth day, and it is only 9 hours long.
  • It is the only dwarf planet without a moon. Pluto has five moons, Eris has one, Makemake has one and Haumea has two moons.

Ceres Information Table

No. of moon Zero (0)
Estimated Mass 9.39*10^20 Kg
Length of a year / Orbit 4.6 earth years
Location Asteroid Belt
Estimated diameter 950 km or 590 miles
Length of a day 9 earth hours
Distance from the Sun 2.7 AU (257 million miles)
Discovery date 1-1-1801

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Source:

Wikipedia

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