Tag Archives: orbit

The Overlapping Orbits Of The Trans-Neptunian Dwarf Planets

by Anura Guruge

When it was still thought of as a planet, one of the many things that set Pluto apart from the other eight planets was that it cut across the orbital path of a neighbor, viz. Neptune. The others had well separated orbits that never strayed into the paths of others.

Whereas Pluto was the exception when it came the planets, it was in good company among the dwarf planets, especially the trans-Neptunian plutoids. All four of of them have orbits that duck-and-weave through each other. Here is a rough sketch of the orbital paths of Pluto, Haumea and Makemake showing the overlaps.