Fact Check: Five dwarf planets and a new candidate — how is it decided?
A brand new SPHERE/VLT picture of Hygiea. (European House Organisation)

As of {today}, there are formally 5 dwarf planets in our Photo voltaic System. Essentially the most well-known is Pluto, downgraded from the standing of a planet in 2006. The opposite 4, so as of measurement, are Eris, Makemake, Haumea and Ceres. Now, there’s a claimant for a sixth dwarf planet.

Known as Hygiea, it has thus far been taken to be an asteroid. It lies within the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.

Utilizing observations made by means of the European House Organisation’s SPHERE instrument on the Very Giant Telescope (VLT), astronomers have now discovered Hygiea could probably be a dwarf planet. They’ve reported their findings within the journal Nature Astronomy.

If it qualifies, Hygiea would be the smallest dwarf planet within the Photo voltaic System.

Fact Check: Five dwarf planets and a new candidate — how is it decided?
Dwarf planets

The Worldwide Astronomical Union units 4 standards for a dwarf planet, and Hygiea already satisfies three — it orbits across the Solar, it’s not a moon, and it has not cleared the neighbourhood round its orbit. The fourth requirement is that it have sufficient mass that its personal gravity pulls it right into a roughly spherical form.

In accordance with the brand new research, VLT observations now present Hygiea happy that situation, too. That is the primary time astronomers have noticed Hygiea in excessive decision to check its floor and decide its form and measurement.

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