Eleventh planet

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Eleventh planet (of the Solar System) may refer to Vesta, the eleventh object to be named a planet, later to be reclassified as an asteroid; Uranus, the eleventh planet from the Sun upon Vesta's discovery, though this was quickly superseded by new discoveries; or Haumea, which would be the eleventh planet if the classification advocated by Alan Stern et al. were adopted; or Makemake, which would be the eleventh planet in terms of distance from the Sun, as opposed to order of discovery.


Planets 1807–1845
1 Mercury☿
2 Venus♀
3 Earth ⊕
4 Mars♂
5 Vesta Vesta symbol.svg
6 Juno Juno symbol.svg
7 Ceres Ceres symbol.svg
8 Pallas Pallas symbol.svg
9 Jupiter♃
10 Saturn ♄
11 Uranus♅

The eleventh planet in the early 19th century was Uranus by order of distance from the Sun, and Vesta in order of discovery. When Ceres (1801), Pallas (1802), Juno (1804) and Vesta (1807) were discovered in the 19th century, they were known as planets, and Neptune♆ was not discovered until 1846, there were a total of eleven planets. At the time, even Uranus had been recognized as a planet for twenty years.[1] However, the number of planets rapidly grew from 1850 onward, and Ceres, Pallas, Juno, and Vesta were re-classified as asteroids one, two, three, and four; the number of recognized planets dropped to eight until the discovery of Pluto in 1930.[2]

For example, in addition to the discovery of Neptune at the end of 1846, between 1845 and the end of the decade 6 more "planets" were discovered. This included Astraea 5 Astraea Symbol.svg (1845), Hebe6 Hebe Astronomical Symbol.svg (1847), Iris 7 Iris Astronomical Symbol.svg (1847), Flora 8 Flora Astronomical Symbol.svg (1847), Metis 9 Metis symbol.svg (1848), and Hygeia 10 Hygiea Astronomical Symbol.svg (1849) (later spelled 'Hygiea'). From the 1850s onwards these were slowly classified along with the earlier "planets" as asteroids.[2]

From 1930 to 2006, the ninth planet was Pluto, with both Eris and Haumea later laying claim to being a tenth planet.[3] Today, if counting the "dwarf planets" as planets, the eleventh planet from the Sun would be Haumea. However, in 2006 the term "planet" was redefined to exclude the new category of dwarf planets (just as some planets had earlier been recategorised as asteroids). In 2006 Pluto, Eris, Haumea, Makemake, and (in the inner Solar System) the asteroid Ceres were reclassified as dwarf planets.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ J. L. E. Dreyer, (1912). The Scientific Papers of Sir William Herschel. 1. Royal Society and Royal Astronomical Society. p. 100.
  2. ^ a b Hilton, James L. (2001-09-17). "When Did the Asteroids Become Minor Planets?". U. S. Naval Observatory. Archived from the original on 2007-09-21. Retrieved 2007-04-08.
  3. ^ "Estados Unidos "conquista" Haumea". ABC (in Spanish). 2008-09-20. Retrieved 2008-09-18.
  4. ^ "Dwarf Planets and their Systems". Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature (WGPSN). 2008-07-11. Retrieved 2008-07-13.