Dwarf Planet Eris

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Scientists are gaining a fuller understanding of Eris and its differences with Pluto.

About Dwarf Planet Eris

  • It was discovered on Jan. 5, 2005.
  • It is named after the ancient Greek goddess of discord.
  • It is a member of a group of objects that orbit in a disc-like zone beyond the orbit of Neptune called the Kuiper Belt.
  • It appears to have a rocky interior below a shell of ice. 
  • It has about 25% more mass than Pluto.
  • Eris orbits at an average of about 68 times further from the sun than Earth, taking 557 years to complete one orbit.
  • It completes one rotation every 25.9 hours, making its day length similar to ours.
  • It has a very small moon called Dysnomia which has a nearly circular orbit lasting about 16 days.
  • Just like the Earth-moon system, tides on Eris slowly push Dysnomia away and slow down the spin of Eris and this process has gone to completion.
  • Eris and Dysnomia always present the same face to the other.
  • Atmosphere
    • The dwarf planet is often so far from the Sun that its atmosphere collapses and freezes, falling to the surface as snow.
    • As it gets closest to the Sun in its faraway orbit, the atmosphere thaws.

What is Dwarf Planet?

  • It is a celestial body that -orbits the sun, has enough mass to assume a nearly round shape, has not cleared the neighborhood around its orbit and is not a moon.

Q1) What is the Kuiper Belt?

It is a vast region of the outer solar system beyond Neptune. This area is home to a significant number of icy bodies, dwarf planets, and remnants from the early formation of the solar system. It is significantly larger and contains different types of objects. It's believed to be a relic of the early solar system, consisting mainly of icy bodies such as comets, frozen volatiles, and small rocky objects.

Source: Scientists discern the internal structure of the mysterious dwarf planet Eris