Why The Dwarf Planet Ceres Is So Fascinating | Mach | NBC News
Flight Over Dwarf Planet Ceres
Fly Over Dwarf Planet Ceres
New Findings From NASA's Dawn Mission at Dwarf Planet Ceres
What Is The Dwarf Planet Ceres?
Ceres is the largest object in the asteroid belt that lies between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter, slightly closer to Mars' orbit. Its diameter is approximately 945 kilometers, making it the largest of the minor planets within the orbit of Neptune. It is the 33rd-largest known body in the Solar System and the only dwarf planet within the orbit of Neptune. Ceres is composed of rock and ice and is estimated to comprise approximately one third of the mass of the entire asteroid belt. Ceres is the only object in the asteroid belt known to be rounded by its own gravity. From Earth, the apparent magnitude of Ceres ranges from 6.7 to 9.3, peaking once every 15 to 16 months, hence even at its brightest it is too dim to be seen with the naked eye except under extremely dark skies.