QueSPER Research Projects

Planets in the Solar System

Dwarf Planets

ERIS

ERISERIS

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.

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How far is Eris from the Sun?
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Eris is 9 billion miles from the sun.

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Eris is  14.48 billion kilometers from the sun.

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The nearest planet to Eris is Neptune.

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

 

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How big is Eris? (What is its diameter?)
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Eris is a little less than 1/5 the size of the Earth.

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

 

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

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Eris has one moon. Its name is Dysnomia.

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

 
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Why is this dwarf planet named Eris?
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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:

The-Solar-System.Net

Links to Other Sites

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

Books and References

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Time for Kids Almanac 2003 with Information Please. NY: Time for Kids Books, 2002. RL 4.5 Dewey 031.02
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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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