One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
An asteroid.Often contrasted with major planet
- ‘The next body to be discovered in the solar system was the minor planet Ceres, discovered in 1801.’
- ‘She made observations of one of the minor planets and calculated its orbit.’
- ‘Although referred to as an asteroid, it is officially classified as a minor planet, orbiting the Sun in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.’
- ‘In the outer Solar System and the asteroids / minor planets tend to be redder in colour because they contain more organic material.’
- ‘Between 1801 and 1808, astronomers tracked down a further three minor planets within this region of space: Pallas, Juno and Vesta, each smaller than Ceres.’
minor planet/ˌmīnər ˈplanət/
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