The largest known asteroid, Ceres is 623 miles (1,003 km) in diameter, and orbits roughly 260 million miles (420 million km) from the Sun. Italian astronomer Giuseppe Piazzi discovered Ceres in 1801. Since it was the first asteroid ever discovered, it also carries the designation "1 Ceres." In 2006, astronomers also classified Ceres as a dwarf planet.


Asteroids At the dawn of the 19th century, a group of...

Featured Images

Dawn view of the white spots on Ceres
Spotty Crater Thursday, September 10, 2015
Dawn images of north pole of Ceres
Over the Top Friday, April 17, 2015
A full rotation of Ceres as seen by the Dawn mission
Final Approach Tuesday, March 3, 2015
Dawn image of mysterious bright spots on Ceres, February 19, 2015
Bright Mysteries Thursday, February 26, 2015
Dawn image of Ceres, January 25, 2015
Getting Closer Wednesday, January 28, 2015
Three dwarf planets shown to scale with Earth and Moon
Dwarf Planets Monday, January 5, 2015
Artist's concept of water vapor around Ceres; HST image of Ceres
Watery Dwarf Friday, May 2, 2014

Radio Programs

More Dawn at Ceres Looking for water on an asteroid Thursday, March 5, 2015
Dawn at Ceres A spacecraft makes a second port of call Wednesday, March 4, 2015
Moon and Jupiter Closing in on two dwarf planets Wednesday, January 7, 2015
Asteroid Hunting Pointing the way to two asteroids Sunday, July 13, 2014
Watery Asteroid Water vapor from a big ball of rock Friday, May 2, 2014
Moon and Ceres Peeking beneath the skin of an asteroid Saturday, September 8, 2012


©2015 The University of Texas McDonald Observatory