Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

My dwarf is bigger than your dwarf

  1. Oct 26, 2009 #1
    It's time to spread the word that the less massive dwarf planet in our solar system is Ceres, while the more massive dwarf planet in our solar system is Pluto. It was recent news to me at least.

    Please see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ceres_%28dwarf_planet%29" [Broken].
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 26, 2009 #2


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor


  4. Oct 26, 2009 #3


    User Avatar
    Homework Helper

    Um, that was known since at least the discovery of Pluto.
  5. Oct 26, 2009 #4
    My oversight. I meant - to some extent - telling laypeople, high school and liberal arts students, amateur astronomers, etc, that Ceres is "the other" dwarf planet.

    My guess is, though, that a poll at PF asking how Ceres is categorized would not be answered correctly by a considerable majority.
  6. Oct 27, 2009 #5
  7. Oct 27, 2009 #6
    Thanks greatly, Arch2008. Where have I been?
  8. Oct 27, 2009 #7
    You’re most welcome! The whole situation is confusing. Some people at the IAU had been trying to eliminate Pluto from the list of planets for decades. When Eris turned out to be larger than Pluto, they used this as an excuse to do Pluto in. A new group of “dwarf planets” was created. However, since a human dwarf is still a human and a dwarf galaxy is still a galaxy the result was inconclusive for most of us. Pluto was still a planet. So the even newer term “plutoid” was apparently fabricated to settle the matter of Pluto’s fate once and for all. And they call it science.:smile:
  9. Oct 27, 2009 #8
    What's the motivation for the people to push to make Pluto a planet? Any Plutonian lobbying?
  10. Oct 27, 2009 #9

    Vanadium 50

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor
    2017 Award

    Are you implying that there are only two dwarf planets in our solar system? There are five: Ceres, Pluto, Haumea, Makemake and Eris. There are about a dozen more good candidates.
  11. Oct 27, 2009 #10
    They're enough to make my head precess! Are they running out of Greco-Roman names? It's a small world after all.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook