List of gravitationally rounded objects of the Solar System

Last updated on 21 June 2017

Gravitationally rounded objects in the Solar System have a rounded, ellipsoidal shape due to the forces of their own gravity (hydrostatic equilibrium) and their sizes range from dwarf planets and moons to the planets and the sun. This list does not include any small Solar System bodies, but it does a sample of planetary-mass objects whose shape has yet to be accurately determined. The Sun's orbital characteristics are listed in relation to the Galactic Center, while all other objects are listed in order of their distance from the Sun.

Montagem Sistema Solar.jpg
Montagem Sistema Solar.jpg

Sun

The Sun is a G-type main-sequence star. It contains almost 99.9 percent of all the mass in the Solar System.[1]

Sun in February.jpg
Sun in February.jpg

Planets

Key
*
terrestrial planet
°
gas giant

ice giant

A planet is defined according to the 2006 International Astronomical Union (IAU) definition; as a body in orbit around the Sun that was large enough to have achieved hydrostatic equilibrium and to have cleared the neighbourhood around its orbit.[5] The practical meaning of "cleared the neighborhood" is that a planet is comparatively massive enough for its gravitation to control the orbits of all objects in its vicinity. By the IAU's definition, there are eight planets in the Solar System; four terrestrial planets (Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars) and four giant planets, which can be divided further into two gas giants (Jupiter and Saturn) and two ice giants (Uranus and Neptune). When excluding the Sun, the four giant planets account for more than 99 percent of the mass of the Solar System.

Mercury in color - Prockter07-edit1.jpg
Mercury in color - Prockter07-edit1.jpg
Venus-real color.jpg
Venus-real color.jpg
Africa and Europe from a Million Miles Away.png
Africa and Europe from a Million Miles Away.png
Mars 23 aug 2003 hubble.jpg
Mars 23 aug 2003 hubble.jpg
Jupiter and its shrunken Great Red Spot.jpg
Jupiter and its shrunken Great Red Spot.jpg
Ringworld Waiting.jpg
Ringworld Waiting.jpg
Uranus2.jpg
Uranus2.jpg
Neptune Full.jpg
Neptune Full.jpg

Dwarf planets

Key

asteroid

plutoid

The IAU, the internationally recognized authority for assigning designations to celestial bodies, defines dwarf planets as bodies that are large enough to have achieved hydrostatic equilibrium, but have not cleared their neighbourhoods of similar objects. Since 2008, there have been five dwarf planets recognized by the IAU. Ceres orbits in the asteroid belt, between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. The others orbit beyond Neptune and are subclassified as plutoids.

Ceres - RC3 - Haulani Crater (22381131691) (cropped).jpg
Ceres - RC3 - Haulani Crater (22381131691) (cropped).jpg
Nh-pluto-in-true-color 2x JPEG-edit-frame.jpg
Nh-pluto-in-true-color 2x JPEG-edit-frame.jpg
Makemake moon Hubble image with legend (cropped).jpg
Makemake moon Hubble image with legend (cropped).jpg
Eris and dysnomia2.jpg
Eris and dysnomia2.jpg

Most-likely additional dwarf planets

These trans-Neptunian objects are theoretically large enough to be dwarf planets. Dozens more could have been included.[34] Both Quaoar and Orcus have known moons that have allowed the mass of the systems to be determined. Both are more massive than the 5×1020 kg recommendation of the IAU 2006 draft proposal as sufficient for classification as a dwarf planet.[35]

Orcus nasa.jpg
Orcus nasa.jpg
Ixion planetoid nasa.jpg
Ixion planetoid nasa.jpg
Quaoar PRC2002-17e.jpg
Quaoar PRC2002-17e.jpg
Sedna PRC2004-14d.jpg
Sedna PRC2004-14d.jpg

Satellites

Key

Satellite of Earth

Satellite of Jupiter
$
Satellite of Saturn

Satellite of Uranus

Satellite of Neptune

Satellite of Pluto

There are 19 natural satellites in the Solar System that are known to be massive enough to be close to hydrostatic equilibrium, which Alan Stern calls satellite planets. However, several of these were once in equilibrium but are no longer: these include all of the moons listed for Saturn apart from Titan and Rhea. Other moons that were once in equilibrium but are no longer very round, such as Saturn's Phoebe, are not included. Satellites are listed first in order from the Sun, and second in order from their parent body.

FullMoon2010.jpg
FullMoon2010.jpg
Io highest resolution true color.jpg
Io highest resolution true color.jpg
Europa-moon.jpg
Europa-moon.jpg
Ganymede g1 true-edit1.jpg
Ganymede g1 true-edit1.jpg
Callisto.jpg
Callisto.jpg
Mimas Cassini.jpg
Mimas Cassini.jpg
PIA17202 - Approaching Enceladus.jpg
PIA17202 - Approaching Enceladus.jpg
PIA18317-SaturnMoon-Tethys-Cassini-20150411.jpg
PIA18317-SaturnMoon-Tethys-Cassini-20150411.jpg
Dione in natural light.jpg
Dione in natural light.jpg
PIA07763 Rhea full globe5.jpg
PIA07763 Rhea full globe5.jpg
Titan in true color.jpg
Titan in true color.jpg
Iapetus 706 1419 1.jpg
Iapetus 706 1419 1.jpg
Miranda.jpg
Miranda.jpg
Ariel (moon).jpg
Ariel (moon).jpg
PIA00040 Umbrielx2.47.jpg
PIA00040 Umbrielx2.47.jpg
Titania (moon) color cropped.jpg
Titania (moon) color cropped.jpg
Voyager 2 picture of Oberon.jpg
Voyager 2 picture of Oberon.jpg
Triton moon mosaic Voyager 2 (large).jpg
Triton moon mosaic Voyager 2 (large).jpg
Charon in Color (HQ).jpg
Charon in Color (HQ).jpg

Notes

Unless otherwise cited:[ac]

  1. ^ The planetary discriminant for the planets is taken from material published by Stephen Soter.[73] Planetary discriminants for Ceres, Pluto and Eris taken from Soter, 2006. Planetary discriminants of all other bodies calculated from the Kuiper belt mass estimate given by Lorenzo Iorio.[74]
  2. ^ Saturn satellite info taken from NASA Saturnian Satellite Fact Sheet.[75]
  3. ^ Astronomical symbols for all listed objects except Ceres taken from NASA Solar System Exploration.[76] Symbol for Ceres was taken from material published by James L. Hilton.[77] The Moon is the only natural satellite with an astronomical symbol, and Pluto and Ceres the only dwarf planets.
  4. ^ Uranus satellite info taken from NASA Uranian Satellite Fact Sheet.[78]
  5. ^ Radii for plutoid candidates taken from material published by John Stansberry et al.[23]
  6. ^ Axial tilts for most satellites assumed to be zero in accordance with the Explanatory Supplement to the Astronomical Almanac: "In the absence of other information, the axis of rotation is assumed to be normal to the mean orbital plane."[79]
  7. ^ Natural satellite numbers taken from material published by Scott S. Sheppard.[80]

Manual calculations (unless otherwise cited)

  1. ^ Surface area A derived from the radius using , assuming sphericity.
  2. ^ Volume V derived from the radius using , assuming sphericity.
  3. ^ Density derived from the mass divided by the volume.
  4. ^ Surface gravity derived from the mass m, the gravitational constant G and the radius r: G*m/r2 .
  5. ^ Escape velocity derived from the mass m, the gravitational constant G and the radius r: sqrt((2*G*m)/r) .
  6. ^ Orbital speed is calculated using the mean orbital radius and the orbital period, assuming a circular orbit.
  7. ^ Assuming a density of 2.0
  8. ^ Calculated using the formula where Teff =54.8 K at 52 AU, is the geometric albedo, q=0.8 is the phase integral, and is the distance from the Sun in AU. This formula is a simplified version of that in section 2.2 of Stansberry, et al., 2007,[23] where emissivity and beaming parameter were assumed equal unity, and was replaced with 4 accounting for the difference between circle and sphere. All parameters mentioned above were taken from the same paper.
  9. ^ Calculated using the formula , where H is the absolute magnitude, p is the geometric albedo and D is the diameter in km, and assuming an albedo of 0.15, as per Dan Bruton.[81]
  10. ^ Mass derived from the density multipied by the volume.

Individual calculations

  1. ^ Derived from density
  2. ^ Surface area was calculated using the formula for a scalene ellipsoid:
    where is the modular angle, or angular eccentricity; and , are the incomplete elliptic integrals of the first and second kind, respectively. The values 980 km, 759 km, and 498 km were used for a, b, and c respectively.

Other notes

  1. ^ Relative to Earth
  2. ^ sidereal
  3. ^ retrograde
  4. ^ The inclination of the body's equator from its orbit.
  5. ^ At pressure of 1 bar
  6. ^ At sea level
  7. ^ The ratio between the mass of the object and those in its immediate neighborhood. Used to distinguish between a planet and a dwarf planet.
  8. ^ This object's rotation is synchronous with its orbital period, meaning that it only ever shows one face to its primary.
  9. ^ Objects' planetary discriminants based on their similar orbits to Eris. Sedna's population is currently too little-known for a planetary discriminant to be determined.
  10. ^ Proteus average diameter: 210 km;[68] Mimas average diameter: 199 km[75]
  11. ^ "Unless otherwise cited" means that the information contained in the citation is applicable to an entire line or column of a chart, unless another citation specifically notes otherwise.

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See also

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