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Small solar system body.


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A Small Solar System Body (SSSB) is a term defined in 2006 by the International Astronomical Union to describe objects in the Solar System that are neither planets nor dwarf planets:

All other objects orbiting the Sun shall be referred to collectively as "Small Solar System Bodies" ... These currently include most of the Solar System asteroids, most Trans-Neptunian Objects (TNOs), comets, and other small bodies.

This encompasses:

  • all minor planets apart from the dwarf planets, i.e.:
    the classical asteroids, (except for 1 Ceres, the largest);
    the Centaurs and Neptune trojans;
    the trans-Neptunian objects (except for dwarf planets such as Pluto and Eris);
    .
  • all comets.

It is not yet clear whether there will be a lower bound on the group of small solar system bodies, or if it will encompass all material down to the level of Meteoroids.

Some of the larger Small Solar System Bodies may be reclassified in future as dwarf planets, pending further examination to determine whether or not they are in hydrostatic equilibrium.




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