minor planet

noun

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web First discovered in 1997, Chariklo is an icy asteroid, one of the building blocks of the solar system, but it’s also known as a minor planet. Jamie Carter, Forbes, 25 Jan. 2023 Which type of space rock is also referred to as a minor planet? CNN, 29 Sep. 2022 Once thought to be an asteroid, it is now classified as a comet or minor planet. Meghan Rose, Glamour, 11 Aug. 2022 An incredibly rare find, it was initially classed as a minor planet. Jamie Carter, Forbes, 12 Apr. 2022 This piece of Vesta, the first from the minor planet that the Field Museum has had, was found in the Sahara desert and procured from a private meteorite collector, Terry Boudreaux, who frequently donates his findings to the Field Museum. Mariah Rush, chicagotribune.com, 30 June 2021 Hence Comet Bernardinelli-Bernstein’s initial classification as a trans-Neptunian Object (TNO), which is defined as a minor planet or dwarf planet in the Solar System that orbits the Sun at a greater average distance than Neptune. Jamie Carter, Forbes, 24 June 2021 That’s the minor planet, or asteroid -- located on the lengthy asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter -- that recently was named for South Euclid and Lyndhurst, thanks to the efforts of Jay Haarburger. cleveland.com, 19 July 2019 Caltech’s Konstantin Batygin, for one, does not think the Kuiper Belt objects have enough mass to pull minor planets and asteroid out of their orbit. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, 6 June 2018 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'minor planet.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1823, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of minor planet was in 1823

Dictionary Entries Near minor planet

Cite this Entry

“Minor planet.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/minor%20planet. Accessed 1 Apr. 2023.

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