Huge asteroid in solar system could be upgraded to a dwarf planet

30 October 2019
499 Views

Our solar system could be about to acquire a new planet – a dwarf planet, to be precise – after astronomers examined a hulking space rock in an asteroid belt.

Hygeia is pretty big for an asteroid. At 280 miles across, it’s far bigger than the asteroid which wiped out the dinosaurs, but it would become the smallest dwarf planet in the solar system.

It would take the crown from Ceres, 550 miles across, which is found in the same asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.

The findings came after an international team examined Hygeia using the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope (VLT).

A dwarf planet, according to the International Astronomical Union (IAU), is a celestial object orbiting a star that is massive enough to be rounded by its own gravity but does not have the gravitational dominance to clear the area around its orbit by consuming or slinging away smaller objects in its path.

The most famous example is Pluto, which was downgraded to a dwarf planet in 2006 after the IAU changed the requirements that defined a planet.

Along with Ceres and Pluto, there are three other known dwarf planets in the solar system – Haumea, Makemake and Eris. Ceres and Hygiea hail from the asteroid belt, sharing the vast space with 7,000 other members, including a large asteroid called Vesta.

You may be interested

The National Interest: Why is Cyprus still divided? – Analysis
DEFENCE
shares76 views
DEFENCE
shares76 views

The National Interest: Why is Cyprus still divided? – Analysis

Panos - Apr 19, 2021

The division of Cyprus is fast approaching the half-century mark. In fact, that division has now lasted longer than that…

Research suggests ancient Greeks might have sailed to Canada
GREECE
shares17 views
GREECE
shares17 views

Research suggests ancient Greeks might have sailed to Canada

Panos - Apr 19, 2021

The ancient Greeks could have reached Canada in 56 AD – almost a millennium before the Vikings. This is according…

Condition in eastern Mediterranean dominated Dendias, Shoukry meeting in Cairo
GREECE
shares99 views
GREECE
shares99 views

Condition in eastern Mediterranean dominated Dendias, Shoukry meeting in Cairo

Panos - Apr 19, 2021

Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias was cordially welcomed by Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry earlier on Sunday in Cairo. The…

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.