Smallest Dwarf Planet Found in Solar System
A dwarf planet has been
identified in our solar system Hygiea by astronomers using the ESO's Sphere
instrument at the Very Large Telescope. Hygiea orbits around the Sun, it is not
a moon and unlike a planet, it has not cleared the neighbourhood around its orbit.
For the first time, astronomers have observed Hygiea in sufficiently high resolution to study its surface and determine its shape and size. They found that Hygiea is spherical, potentially taking the crown from Ceres as the smallest dwarf planet in the Solar System.
A report of the planet in Nature Astronomy said that Hygiea is the main member of one of the largest asteroid families. The astronomers have identified two unambiguous craters. The spherical shape of Hygiea could be due to a major head-on collision with a large projectile of diamenter between 75 and 150 km.