Adirondack Sky Center
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Astro Quiz 34: Dwarf Planets in Kuiper Belt?

Question #34 – Are all the dwarf planets in the Kuiper Belt?

Answer:

Most, but not all, of the five officially recognized dwarf planets are in the Kuiper Belt. Pluto, Eris, Haumea (pronounced "haw-may-ah") and Makemake ("mah-kay mah-kay") are all located in the Kuiper Belt. Ceres is the fifth dwarf planet, but it is located in the asteroid belt between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. Ceres was originally considered a planet when it was discovered in 1801, but reclassified as an asteroid in the 1850's. It was reclassified as a dwarf planet in 2006, because Ceres is so much bigger and so different from the other objects in the asteroid belt.

More information about dwarf planets, and possible candidates for the future, can be found on this Wikipedia page.


The officially recognized dwarf planets, along with their year of discovery
Planet size not to scale!
Photo credit: NASA/JPL

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