solar system > Dwarf planets > Eris

Artistic illustration of Eris

Artistic illustration of Eris

Eris – dwarf planet of the solar system: location behind Pluto, description and characteristics, discovery, photo, name, interesting facts, satellites, distance.

Eris is considered the largest dwarf planet in the solar system and ranks 9th in size. It is so large that some people call it the tenth planet. Located beyond Pluto’s orbit. It is considered a trans-Neptunian object (TNO) and part of a scattered disk.

The discovery of the dwarf planet Eris was important because it is larger than Pluto. It was she who pushed to revise the definition of the concept of “planet”.

Discovery of the dwarf planet Eris

136199 Eridu was first spotted in 2003. This was done by Michael Brown’s team at the Palomar Observatory. The find was officially confirmed in 2005.

Classification dwarf planet Eris

At the time of finding, scientists believed they were seeing the 10th planet, because it was a celestial body in the Kuiper belt, which bypassed Pluto in size. Some agreed, but there were also those who began to argue about the nature of the object. At that time, the definition itself did not have clear criteria.

Comparison of the sizes of Eris and other trans-Neptunian objects

Comparison of the sizes of Eris and other trans-Neptunian objects

The IAU had to intervene in 2006 and put forward a list of demands. The planet must be massive in order to create a spherical shape, revolve around the Sun and clear the area around itself of unnecessary bodies.

It turned out that some objects, including Pluto, do not meet the latter requirement. Therefore, they put forward a new category – dwarf planets.

Name dwarf planet Eris

Interestingly, in Greek mythology, Eris was the goddess of strife. Officially, this name was given in 2006 after a long period of determining the class of the object. Even more surprising, the team nicknamed the dwarf planet Xena after a beloved TV character.

Among the competing names for the dwarf planet Eris was Leela, who in Hindu mythology described the process of creating space as a game.

Size, mass and orbit dwarf planet Eris

The ratings were constantly changing, so they caused controversy. The Hubble telescope in the 2005 survey showed a diameter of 2397 km, and in 2007 Spitzer noted 2600 km.

Physical characteristics of the dwarf planet Eris

Opening Details
opening date January 5, 2005
Pioneers Michael Brown,
Chadwick Trujillo,
David Rabinowitz
Orbital characteristics
Semi-major axis 68.047441 a.u.
Eccentricity 0.43475424
Period of circulation 205,029 days
Mood 43.824120 °
Apparent magnitude 18.7
physical characteristics
Dimensions (edit) ?
Surface area 17,950,000 km²
Weight (1.67 ± 0.02) 1022 Kg
Density 2.52 ± 0.05 g / cm3
Albedo 0.96

The last observation in 2010 showed a diameter of 2326 km. Planet Nine is believed to extend over 2368 km, so they are roughly equal. Pluto’s atmosphere gets in the way of measuring size.

Orbit of Eris

Orbit of Eris

Eris rotates around the Sun for 558 years. Its maximum distance is 97.65 AU, and its minimum distance is 37.91 AU. The orbit is extremely eccentric, but does not contact Neptune, therefore it is not influenced by the planet. Tilted at an angle of 44 °.

Satellites dwarf planet Eris

Eris and Dysnomia

Near the dwarf planet Eris, there is one satellite – Dysnomia, considered in myth to be the daughter of Eris. She was found a few months after the discovery of the dwarf planet.

Interesting facts about dwarf planet Eris

Eris is bright and can be found even with a small telescope. The presence of radioactive decay hints at a possible liquid inland ocean. An infrared scan showed the presence of methane ice, and the surface layer may resemble samples from Pluto or Triton.

The temperature index is 30-56 K, which correlates with the coolness of Pluto (33-55 K).


The planets of the solar system
Dwarf planets Pluto · Ceres · Haumea · Makemake · Eris
Terrestrial planets Mercury · Venus · Earth · Mars
Gas giants Jupiter · Saturn · Uranus · Neptune
solar system

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