Key facts about Quaoar:
- Quaoar is a dwarf planet that’s located in the Kuiper Belt at the solar system’s edge.
- It is about 697 miles wide (1,121 kilometers).
- It is roughly one-twelfth the diameter of Earth, one-third the diameter of the Moon, and half the size of Pluto.
- Quaoar is greater in volume than all known asteroids combined.
- Quaoar has its own moon, the 100-mile-wide (160 km) Weywot.
- Its surface is moderately red and composed of low-density ices mixed with rock.
- It takes about 288 years for Quaoar to go once around the sun in a roughly circular orbit.
What is Kuiper Belt?
- Kuiper belt, also called the Edgeworth-Kuiper belt, is a flat ring of small icy bodies that revolve around the Sun beyond the orbit of the planet Neptune.
- There are millions of these icy objects, collectively referred to as Kuiper Belt objects (KBOs) or trans-Neptunian objects (TNOs), in this belt.
- The Kuiper Belt is a region of leftovers from the solar system's early history.
- It is thought to be the source of most of the observed short-period comets, particularly those that orbit the Sun in less than 20 years.
Q1) What is a dwarf planet?
According to the definition adopted by the IAU in 2006, a dwarf planet is, “a celestial body orbiting a star that is massive enough to be rounded by its own gravity but has not cleared its neighboring region of planetesimals and is not a satellite.