If you’re looking for some cool facts about Ceres, then we’re going to give you some awesome facts which hopefully let you get to know Ceres a little better. Ceres is one of the five dwarf planets, along with others like bright Pluto, newly discovered Makemake, egg-shaped Haumea and massive Eris. Although many people haven’t heard of Ceres, it’s actually one of the better known Dwarf planets!
Either way, let’s take a look at some of the coolest facts about dwarf planets that can help you to understand Ceres.
Ceres Facts for Kids
- Ceres takes its name from Ancient Rome. Ceres was the Goddess of agriculture and motherly relationships, who’s siblings were actually named Jupiter, Neptune and Pluto, and mother was called Saturn.
- Although many people think that Pluto was the first dwarf planet to be discovered, this isn’t true – it was actually Ceres! Ceres was discovered back in 1801, and Pluto wasn’t discovered until 1930 – more than 100 years later!
- Ceres is known for being the smallest of the currently known Dwarf planets. However, it is likely that there are other dwarf planets out there smaller than Ceres, but we just haven’t identified them yet.
- If it wasn’t for Jupiter, Ceres would actually be a full planet and not a dwarf planet. Several billion years ago, Jupiter forced Jupiter out into the Asteroid belt, which is between Mars and Jupiter.
- Ceres is the only dwarf planet that isn’t in the Kuiper belt – it’s actually in the Asteroid Belt.
- Although Ceres is the smallest dwarf planet, it’s still the biggest object in the Asteroid belt by some distance! It’s 10x bigger than any other object in the Asteroid Belt.
- Until Ceres was classified as a dwarf planet, we just thought of it as a massive asteroid (which it still is, but it’s a dwarf planet too!).
- If we look at the total mass of the asteroid belt, Ceres actually take up a massive 25% of it!
- Astronomers actually went to Ceres back in 2015, which made it the first ever dwarf planet to have a spacecraft land on it.
- Ceres has one of the shortest day lengths in the solar system. A full day on Ceres is only 9 hours long!
- Often people wonder why Ceres is a round shape. This is because of gravity, and the only reason it happens is because Ceres is so big! It’s much bigger than all of the other asteroids.
- Ceres is the only dwarf planet that doesn’t have any moons.
- Whilst surface isn’t as cold as some other dwarf planets, it’s still a freezing -105 degrees!
- In 2017, we actually found growing molecules on Ceres, which means that we think it has the ability to form life on it!
- The word cereal is actually from the word Ceres too! Which means they both come from the goddess of Agriculture (it makes sense for cereal!).
Common Questions about Ceres – Answered
Who named Ceres and why is it called that?
As stated earlier, Ceres gets its named from the Roman God of Agriculture. It was given it’s named by the Italian astronomer Giuseppe Piazzi, who found the planet randomly whilst he was stargazing!
Is Ceres as big as the moon?
Although Ceres is the biggest object in its area, it’s nowhere near as big as the moon, which is 5x the size of Ceres. In turn, the Moon is only about one quarter of the size of Earth, so Ceres is still quite small in comparison.
Is there water on Ceres?
Yes, it’s thought that the surface of Ceres is covered in water and ice, whilst the inside of Ceres is rock. However, in more recent years scientists have discovered more and more water flowing out onto the surface of the planet. This has led them to believe there may be an ocean underneath its surface.
Is it possible to live on Ceres?
Whilst it would be impossible to live on Ceres long term, astronomers have theorized that it might be able to get resources from Ceres in the future.
How far away from the Sun is Ceres?
As mentioned, Ceres is a cold planet. This is because it’s so far away from the sun – approximately 257 million miles away.
To finish, this is just some of the stuff we know about Ceres and we are learning more and more every single day! We’re sure there will be more dwarf planets to add here in the future, so keep posted to learn more facts about Ceres. If you have any questions or want to add any of your own cool facts, then just leave a comment below.