Ceres: the Largest Asteroid (Fact of the Day)

Picture of Ceres by Hubble Space telescope
Ceres is the largest and the most massive asteroid discovered yet. It's found in the Asteroid Belt in between Mars and Jupiter. It has an orbital period of about 4.6 years. When it was first discovered in 1801, it was classified as a planet. It was later given an asteroid status. Again later in 2006, the International Astronomical Union classified it as a dwarf planet. This is the only dwarf planet which is in the inner Solar System. A NASA spacecraft known as Dawn is set to visit Ceres by 2015. The Dawn spacecraft was launched in 2007 and it has visited asteroid Vesta which is the second largest asteroid as of now.


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