Difference Between Dwarf Planet and Planet

Planets are celestial bodies orbiting a star in space. They are huge and have their gravitational force. Sun is orbited by eight planets. Some planets can be seen with naked eyes from Earth.

Our Earth is one of the eight planets in the Solar system. Planets have been linked to deities and spirituality in many cultures. They are also considered to cause crucial changes in astronomy.

Dwarf Planet vs Planet

The main difference between Dwarf planets and Planet is that Dwarf planets are small while Planets are large. Dwarf planets lack gravitational force and they cannot pull everything present in their orbit but, Planets have their gravitational force and thus pull all the things in their orbit. Dwarf planets don’t have a clear orbit but Planets have a clear orbit.

Dwarf Planet vs Planet

Dwarf planets are small planets found in Space. The well-known dwarf planet is Pluto. A scientist named Alan Stern coined the term Dwarf Planet.

He termed this name in an attempt to classify the celestial bodies into three categories as Planets, Dwarf Planets, and Satellite Planets. The first Dwarf planet discovered was Ceres.

It was discovered in 1801. Scientists believed that it was a planet at that time but later it was designated as a Dwarf Planet.

Planets are orbiting bodies found in Space. They are huge and commonly revolve around a Star. Planets have been linked to various myths and religious views.

They are considered the emissaries of deities by some people. But, science and technology have given us a clear perspective of these celestial bodies. With the advancement of space science, the way humans perceive the Planets has changed.

Comparison Table Between Dwarf Planet and Planet

Parameters of Comparison Dwarf Planet Planet
Diameter and MassMass and diameter of Dwarf planets are smallPlanets have a greater mass and diameter but these parameters differ from one planet to another
The Largest memberPluto is the largest Dwarf planetJupiter
The Smallest member Hygiea is considered the possible smallest oneMercury is still cooling down and thus decreasing in size. This makes it the smallest.
GravityDwarf planets are smaller in size and do not have a gravitational influencePlanets gravitationally influence the neighboring bodies attracting them towards it.
OrbitDwarf planets do not have a clear orbit Planet have a clear orbit

What is a Dwarf Planet?

As the name indicates Dwarf planets are small planets in Space. They are not as large as Planets. The first dwarf planet was identified in 1801.

It was named Ceres. Astronomers considered it as a Planet. After a few years, they stopped calling Ceres and other bodies like it asteroids as Planet.

But when Pluto was discovered in 1930 it was also considered a Planet. Pluto’s moon was discovered in 1978 which helped to calculate the mass of Pluto.

By calculating the mass it was found out that Pluto was much smaller than the smallest planet in the Solar system. Various other characteristics were also considered to remove Pluto from the classification of Planets.

Dwarf planets cannot dominate the neighboring celestial bodies. Though they have a huge mass they do not possess the ability to clear the neighborhood.

Since the primary character which makes a Planet is gravitational dominance, bodies like Pluto and Ceres cannot be considered as Planets. NASA has stated that there may be hundreds of dwarf planets that need to be discovered.

Ceres, Pluto, Eris, Makemake, and Haumea are some of the well-known dwarf planets discovered. Dwarf planets remain a debatable topic and there are still many controversies and myths going around about the Dwarf planets.

What is a Planet?

Plants are large bodies made up of rock and gases. They are believed to be formed from an entity of gas and dust. Planets orbit around the Sun. But during ancient times it was considered that the Planets orbit around the Earth.

Only after the invention of the telescope by Galileo Galilei, it was confirmed that Sun is what the Planets orbit around. Since then various efforts have been made to find new facts about these Planets. Some of the planets can be seen from Earth.

Just like our Earth other planets also experience hurricanes, Tectonic movements, Volcanoes, and some planets have shown hydrology. Studies on planets are being conducted by different organizations working in different countries.

NASA is the most known and renowned center for space science. These organizations send spacecraft to the target planets and run tests on their soil and atmosphere with the help of Robots.

There are thousands of planets in the milky way galaxy. Since those planets are not a part of our Solar system they are known as extrasolar planets. There are 4878 extrasolar planets in the galaxy.

When Roman astrologers studied the planets and astronomy they gave planets the names of their Gods.

Planets rotate on their axis while orbiting the Sun. Each planet has many natural satellites rotating them.

Mercury doesn’t have an atmosphere. It is present next to the Sun and so even if it has an atmosphere it will be hotter and the molecules may speed up and move out of the atmosphere.

Earth has a unique atmosphere. Earth is the only know planet supporting life. Oxygen is not found on other planets but Earth.

Main Differences Between Dwarf Planet and Planet

  1. Dwarf planets are smaller compared to Planets in the Solar system but, Planets are large in mass and diameter.
  2. Only a few dwarf planets have been discovered while a huge number of Planets have been discovered and named.
  3. Dwarf planets cannot dominate the neighborhood but, Planets can gravitationally dominate their neighborhood.
  4. Dwarf planets have many other bodies in their orbital. While the orbital of Planets is clear and has no other celestial bodies like asteroids This is because of the gravitational dominance ability that planets clear their orbital.
  5. Dwarf planets need more attention because only a few missions have been established to research them. But, Planets have been studied well over the past century and much information about their topography and chemical nature is known.
Difference Between Dwarf Planet and Planet


Planets are gaseous or rocky celestial bodies that are spherical. Each planet is unique and has something to offer inquisitive minds. They have been studied by sending spacecraft to research them.

The highly concerned planets are the eight planets orbiting the Sun. Our planet Earth can support life.

Many research and exploration missions are going on to find if any other planets can sustain life. We have reached so far in space science that man is on his way to colonizing Mars soon.

Like these large planets, there are also some small planets with smaller diameters and mass. They are called Dwarf planets. Though they are small and not considered Planets they are a world on their own.

They also can have satellite planets revolving around them just like our Moon. Dwarf planets are different from Planets and are unique.


  1. https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1674-4527/21/6/133/meta
  2. https://science.sciencemag.org/content/316/5831/1585.abstract
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