SPHERE image of Hygiea

A new SPHERE/VLT image of Hygiea, which could be the Solar System’s smallest dwarf planet yet. As an object in the main asteroid belt, Hygiea satisfies right away three of the four requirements to be classified as a dwarf planet: it orbits around the Sun, it is not a moon and, unlike a planet, it has not cleared the neighbourhood around its orbit. The final requirement is that it have enough mass that its own gravity pulls it into a roughly spherical shape. This is what VLT observations have now revealed about Hygiea.

Credit:

ESO/P. Vernazza et al./MISTRAL algorithm (ONERA/CNRS)

About the Image

Id:eso1918a
Type:Planetary
Release date:28 October 2019, 17:00
Related releases:eso1918
Size:2490 x 1602 px

About the Object

Name:Hygiea
Type:Solar System : Interplanetary Body : Dwarf planet
Category:Solar System

Image Formats

Large JPEG
107.8 KB
Screensize JPEG
29.9 KB

Colours & filters

BandWavelengthTelescope
Optical
R
645 nmVery Large Telescope
SPHERE

 

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