Size of Eris compared to the Earth
Facts about the dwarf planet Eris
- The dwarf planet was named for Eris, the Greek goddess of strife and discord. This is quite fitting, as there was some dispute over the classification when it was discovered. Rejected names for the planet include Xena (from the TV show), Lila, and Persephone (Pluto/Hades’ wife in Greek mythology)
- Eris has one satellite (moon) which is called Dysnomia and takes 16 Earth days to complete a full orbit. Dysnomia is named for the daughter of the goddess Eris in Greek mythology and is the Greek goddess of lawlessness.
- Eris was once considered to become the tenth planet of the solar system before the reclassification of Pluto in 2006. This is due to the large size of Eris, which exceeds Pluto’s mass by 28%.
- All of the objects inside the asteroid belt, located between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter, could fit inside Eris – even though it is only 2/3 the diameter and 1/3 the volume of Earth’s Moon.
- Eris is so far from the Sun that its atmosphere sometimes freezes due to lack of sunlight. Over the course of the hundreds of years it takes the dwarf planet to orbit the Sun, it thaws as it gets closer to the Sun’s heat.
- Scientists believe that the surface of Eris is rocky, similar to the surface found on Pluto.
- It is believed that Eris was originally located inside the Kuiper belt, but that gravitational interactions with Neptune as the solar system formed forced the dwarf planet out into the scattered disc region.
- As of 2014, Eris’ distance from the Sun is approximately 96.4 astronomical units (AU) which is around 14,062,199,874 km – which is roughly three times the distance of Pluto.
- Eris and its moon Dysnomia are currently the most distant known natural objects in the entire Solar System.