Ice Dwarfs and Tiny Moons

  • Michael Carroll


The dwarf planets form a third class of large bodies in the Solar System, behind the mighty gas and ice giant worlds and the smaller terrestrials. One asteroid and several KBOs are considered large enough to fall within this class. To qualify as a dwarf planet, the International Astronomical Union says, the body must directly orbit the Sun (not another planet), it must be massive enough for its gravity to pull it into a sphere, but not large enough to have cleared a pathway in its orbit of the debris that tends to float around throughout the Solar System. The only dwarf planet among the asteroids is Ceres, which was also the first dwarf planet to be explored up close.


Solar System Giant Planet Full Moon Asteroid Belt Kuiper Belt 
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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Carroll
    • 1
  1. 1.LittletonUSA

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