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Unformatted text preview: Dwarf Planets: What are they? Seth Patrick April 30, 2008 A dwarf planet is a celestial body orbiting the Sun that is Massive enough to be rounded by its own gravity but which has not cleared its neighboring region of planetesimals and is not a satellite. i In 2006 the term dwarf planet was founded in part of a three-way classification of bodies orbiting the sun. The IAU, International Astronomical Union, currently only recognizes Ceres, Pluto, and Eris. But its suspected that at least another 42 discovered objects in the Solar System might belong to this same category such as, 2005 FY9, 2003 EL61, Senda, Quaoar. Since we don't know the actual sizes or shapes of many of the objects we've found, because they are so far away, we can't yet determine whether they are actually dwarf planets or not. More observations and better telescopes will help us determine which other objects are dwarf planets. Astronomers speculate that there may be 200 or so dwarf planets out through the distance of the Kulper Belt, an icy band of frozen planetoids on the edge of our Solar System....
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