On the Origin of the Asteroid Belts and the Dwarf Planets: Towards a New Horizon in Astronomy

On the Origin of the Asteroid Belts and the Dwarf Planets: Towards a New Horizon in Astronomy


Ceres as Jupiters’ old moon

Ceres is the largest object in the asteroid belt that lies between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. It’s the 33rd-largest known body in the Solar System, with a radius of 473km.

As the inner core of Jupiter ran out of fuel, and it began nucleosynthesis in the outer layers and expanded to a gas giant, it would have exploded its crust, which remains as the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. Ceres, would have been Jupiters’ old moon, that now orbits the sun as part of the asteroid belt, slightly closer to Mars’ orbit.

The asteroid belts outside of Jupiter, the Centaurs, as the remnants of belts that where absorbed by Jupiter

As planets move further from the sun, the speed at which they move away from the sun increases. That means, more or less, that in the time Mars has travelled distance x, Jupiter has travelled distance 2x. While Mars is just at the edge of the asteroid belt, Jupiter has travelled near twice the distance, and traversed the asteroid belt that was the remnants of Saturns crust, “absorbing” much of the belt as asteroids collided with it.

The Kuiper belt as an exploded ice giant similar to Uranus or Neptune

While many asteroids are composed primarily of rock and metal, most Kuiper belt objects are composed largely of frozen volatiles (termed “ices”), such as methane, ammonia and water. The atmospheres of ice giants Neptune and Uranus contain higher proportion of “ices” such as water, ammonia, and methane.

The Kuiper belt is home to three officially recognized dwarf planets: Pluto, Haumea and Makemake. Pluto is the largest and most massive member of the Kuiper belt. Originally considered a planet, Pluto’s status as part of the Kuiper caused it to be reclassified as a dwarf planet in 2006.

On the origin of Pluto, and planetary nucleosynthesis

What color is Pluto? The answer, revealed in the first maps made from New Horizons data, turns out to be shades of reddish brown. The coloring agent is iron oxide, commonly known as rust.

Ice giants like Neptune and Jupiter would have accumulated a core of inert iron, the end product of fusion in planet cores. Ice giants like Neptune and Jupiter would have accumulated a core of inert iron, the end product of fusion in planet cores. The iron core Pluto orbits the sun, alongside the Kuiper belt, composed largely of frozen volatiles (termed “ices”), such as methane, ammonia and water, the remains of the atmosphere and outer layers of Pluto.

The iron core Pluto as a high density object has an atmosphere that extends further than the radius of the body itself.

Pluto as the core of an ice giant that lost its crust

What would an iron ball be doing floating amongst objects composed largely of frozen volatiles (termed “ices”), such as methane, ammonia and water, a composition similar to the atmospheres of ice giants Neptune and Uranus? Pluto is the core of a former ice giant, surrounded by the outer layers that have fragmented, possibly from Charon, a former moon of the planet, moving closer to the planet core as the center of gravity shifted when activity shifted from that of a gas giant, to that of an ice giant, with Charon gradually moving closer over millions of years.