QueSPER Research Projects

Planets in the Solar System

Dwarf Planets



An artist's conception of ERIS (bright object) and EARTH (foreground).

image taken from: msnbcmedia.msn.com/j/msnbc/Components/Photos/...



 Eris Printout

Eris was discovered in 2005 and led to a redefinition of what a planet is. This caused Pluto to be reclassified as a dwarf planet. Eris was discovered by Michael Brown from the California Institute of Technology.


How far is Eris from the Sun?

Eris is 9 billion miles from the sun.


Eris is  14.48 billion kilometers from the sun.


The nearest planet to Eris is Neptune.


Eris is in a group of ice structures known as the Kuiper belt.



How big is Eris? (What is its diameter?)

Eris is a little less than 1/5 the size of the Earth.


Eris's diameter is 1,500 miles or 2,414 kilometers.



What is Eris like?

Eris is made of rock and water ice and frozen methane (a gas).


Eris has one moon. Its name is Dysnomia.


Eris is the third brightest object located in the Kuiper belt.


Why is this dwarf planet named Eris?

Eris is named after the Greek goddess of chaos and strife. This seemed like a good name because it's discovery  caused scientists to argue and disagree about the definition of a planet and whether to increase or decrease the number of planets in the Solar System.


bulletCan we see Eris in the night sky?
bulletNot without a telescope.  It is too far away and too small.

*One AU is the distance from the center of the Earth to the center of the Sun.

Information on this page was taken from the following websites:


Links to Other Sites

bullet Explore a Planet - Eris
bullet Astronomy for Kids
bullet Eris, the Ice Planet

Books and References

Time for Kids Almanac 2003 with Information Please. NY: Time for Kids Books, 2002. RL 4.5 Dewey 031.02
Farndon, John. The Giant Book of Space. Brookfield,CT: Copper Beech Bks, 2000. RL 4.5 Dewey 523.4

"The Solar System 12/2006: 8 Planets; The New Cosmic Order." Map Insert. National Geographic Magazine.  Dec., 2006.

Chang, Alicia. "Dwarf planet named after Greek goddess." Sept 13, 2006. Washington Post.com. (Nov. 27, 2006) http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/09/13/AR2006091301889.html

Other Links to Sites

The Nine Planets

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