By the IAU’s definition of a planet, the body must orbit a star. Does this mean if a body is orbiting something other than a star, it?

can never be considered a planet? Even if it is a ball the size of Jupiter? I guess another reason it wouldn’t be considered a planet is because it isn’t gravitationally dominant neither. 

5 Answers

  • 2 months ago

    Such objects are called satellites, layman term is moons.

    Our comets and asteroids orbit our sun, but they are not planets. Other statistics decide that which is a planet.

  • Bob
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    Correct, size does not determine if its a planet.

  • ANDY
    Lv 5
    2 months ago

    Any celestial body, as long as it itself is not a star, that orbits a star is a planet. Be it  small or large, it always is a planet. Dwarf planets are planets as the name indicates. Rogue planets are planets that once were, but now they are drifting on their own. Sooner or later they would either fall into a star, or could enter its gravitational field and orbit it at the right distance and speed. Each of our planets in the system has its own speed and distance from the sun. If a massive body should strike one of them, the planet would fall into the sun, or go out into space becoming a rogue planet.

    Bodies orbiting other bodies other than stars are called moons. But then one of them must be orbiting a star.

  • 2 months ago

    Well, there are traditional planets - those that reside in their own orbit, and fit the 3 criteria of the IAU - those are simply "Planets." 

    Others are given terms - Pluto was re-classified as a "Dwarf Planet", because it didn't meet all 3 criteria. 

    There are bodies that have been ejected from solar systems, drifting between stars, which are given the term "Rogue Planet." 

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  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    If a body orbits a planet, it’s called a satellite or moon.  Some moons are larger than some planets.   

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