29.07.

2005: The Discovery of “New Planets” more Distant than Pluto Announced

2005: The Discovery of “New Planets” more Distant than Pluto Announced
Photo Credit To Wikipedia Commons/The masses of the IAU-recognized dwarf planets plus Charon relative to the Moon. The mass of Makemake is a rough estimate. (See plutoid for a graph of several additional likely dwarf planets without Ceres.)

Story Highlights

  • Historical event
  • 29 July 2005
  • The discovery of these bodies questioned the definition of the term "planet", especially after it turned out that one of them is bigger than Pluto.

On this day in 2005 the discovery of celestial bodies called Eris and Makemake was announced. These bodies are located beyond Pluto, which was at that time considered to be the outermost planet of the Solar System.

The discovery of these bodies questioned the definition of the term “planet”, especially after it turned out that Eris is bigger than Pluto.

Instead of proclaiming Eris and other similar objects as planets, it was later decided to remove Pluto from the list of planets.

Thus, the total number of planets was reduced to eight, and Pluto, Eris and Makemake were declared dwarf planets. It is interesting that Eris is currently the largest known dwarf planet.

It takes Eris 560 years to orbit the Sun and its orbit is an elongated ellipse. Its maximum possible distance from the Sun is almost a hundred times more distant than the Earth’s.

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