Ceres (dwarf planet) facts for kids

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(Redirected from 1 Ceres)
Ceres Ceres symbol.svg
Discovered by Giuseppe Piazzi
Discovery date January 1, 1801
Name 1 Ceres
Other names A899 OF; 1943 XB
Category dwarf planet
main belt
Reference date November 26, 2005
(JD 2453700.5)
Longest distance from the Sun 447,838,164 km
2.987 AU
Shortest distance from the Sun 381,419,582 km
2.544 AU
Longest distance from the center of its orbital path
("semi-major axis")
414,703,838 km
2.765 956 424 AU
How long it takes to complete an orbit 1679.819 days
4.599 years
Average speed 17.882 km/s
Mean anomaly 108.509°
Angle above the reference plane
Size and other qualities
Average radius 473 km
Mass 9.46 ± 0.04×1020 kg
Average density 2.08 g/cm3
Surface gravity 0.27 m/s²
0.028 g
Escape velocity 0.51 km/s
How much light it reflects 0.113 (geometric)
Surface temp. Min. Avg. Max.
Kelvin ~167 K 239 K
Spectral type G
Seeming brightness
("apparent magnitude")
6.7 to 9.32
True brightness
("absolute magnitude")

Ceres, also known as 1 Ceres, is the smallest dwarf planet in the Solar System and the only one in the main asteroid belt.

It was discovered on 1 January 1801, by Giuseppe Piazzi, and is named after the Roman goddess Ceres—the goddess of growing plants, the harvest, and of motherly love. After about 200 years from its discovery, the International Astronomical Union decided to upgrade Ceres from an asteroid (or minor planet) to dwarf planetary status in 2006.

With a diameter of about 950 km, Ceres is by far the largest and most massive object in the asteroid belt, and has about a third of the belt's total mass. It was once thought to be smaller than Vesta, which is brighter. Recent observations have discovered that the asteroid is spherical, unlike the irregular shapes of smaller bodies with lower gravity. At its brightest it is still too dim to be seen with the naked eye.

On September 27, 2007, NASA launched the Dawn space probe to explore Ceres and Vesta.

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