Eris (dwarf planet)
Minor planet names
Formal minor planet designations are number–name combinations overseen by the Minor Planet Center, a branch of the IAU. They are used for dwarf planets and small Solar System bodies such as asteroids, but not comets...
136199 Eris, is the most massive known dwarf planet
A dwarf planet, as defined by the International Astronomical Union , is a celestial body orbiting the Sun that is massive enough to be spherical as a result of its own gravity but has not cleared its neighboring region of planetesimals and is not a satellite...
in the Solar System
The Solar System consists of the Sun and the astronomical objects gravitationally bound in orbit around it, all of which formed from the collapse of a giant molecular cloud approximately 4.6 billion years ago. The vast majority of the system's mass is in the Sun...
and the ninth most massive body known to orbit the Sun
The Sun is the star at the center of the Solar System. It is almost perfectly spherical and consists of hot plasma interwoven with magnetic fields...
directly. It is estimated to be approximately 2300–2400 km in diameter, and 27% more mass
Mass can be defined as a quantitive measure of the resistance an object has to change in its velocity.In physics, mass commonly refers to any of the following three properties of matter, which have been shown experimentally to be equivalent:...
ive than Pluto
Pluto, formal designation 134340 Pluto, is the second-most-massive known dwarf planet in the Solar System and the tenth-most-massive body observed directly orbiting the Sun...
or about 0.27% of the Earth
Earth is the third planet from the Sun, and the densest and fifth-largest of the eight planets in the Solar System. It is also the largest of the Solar System's four terrestrial planets...
Eris was discovered in January 2005 by a Palomar Observatory
Palomar Observatory is a privately owned observatory located in San Diego County, California, southeast of Pasadena's Mount Wilson Observatory, in the Palomar Mountain Range. At approximately elevation, it is owned and operated by the California Institute of Technology...
-based team led by Mike Brown
Michael E. Brown
Michael E. Brown has been a professor of planetary astronomy at the California Institute of Technology since 2003....
, and its identity was verified later that year. It is a trans-Neptunian object
A trans-Neptunian object is any minor planet in the Solar System that orbits the Sun at a greater distance on average than Neptune.The first trans-Neptunian object to be discovered was Pluto in 1930...
(TNO) and a member of a high-eccentricity population known as the scattered disc
The scattered disc is a distant region of the Solar System that is sparsely populated by icy minor planets, a subset of the broader family of trans-Neptunian objects. The scattered-disc objects have orbital eccentricities ranging as high as 0.8, inclinations as high as 40°, and perihelia greater...