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A Complete Guide to the Solar System and the Night Sky
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public Observing fromLocation: Greenwich, United Kingdom edit_location_alt
north SunriseRise: 7:48  
clear_day Transit: 11:49  
SunsetSet: 15:50 south
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Dwarf Planets and Asteroids » 

Dwarf Planet 1 Ceres

Altitude: -51.8°   Azimuth: 320.6°   Direction: North-West

Ceres is the largest object in the asteroid belt, located between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. It was discovered by Italian astronomer Giuseppe Piazzi on 1 January 1801 and was later reclassified as a dwarf planet in 2006, along with Pluto and Eris. Ceres has a diameter of approximately 940 kilometers and a mass of 9.39 x 10^20 kilograms, making it about 1/14th the mass of the Moon. Ceres has a relatively round shape, and its surface is covered in craters, mountains, and bright spots, including the famous Occator Crater, which contains bright deposits of salt. It has no atmosphere, but it does have a thin water vapor exosphere. Ceres has a rotational period of about 9.1 hours and an orbital period of 4.6 Earth years. In 2015, NASA's Dawn spacecraft entered orbit around Ceres, becoming the first spacecraft to visit a dwarf planet and providing detailed images and data about its geology, composition, and history.

Dwarf Planet 1 Ceres is currently in the constellation of Scorpius.

The current Right Ascension of Dwarf Planet 1 Ceres is 16h 12m 43s and the Declination is -18° 31’ 55” (topocentric coordinates computed for the selected location: Greenwich, United Kingdom edit_location_alt). The current magnitude of Dwarf Planet 1 Ceres is 8.72 (JPL).

16h 12m 43s
-18° 31’ 55”

Today's rise, transit and set times of Dwarf Planet 1 Ceres from Greenwich, United Kingdom edit_location_alt (all times relative to the local timezone Europe/London):

Azimuth: 108.5°
Max altitude: 20.0°
Azimuth: 251.5°
  • 1 Ceres is below the horizon from Greenwich, United Kingdom edit_location_alt.
  • Given its current magnitude, 1 Ceres is visible with the help of a binocular with a 50mm aperture, easy with a small telescope.
  • Go to interactive sky chart

If you need to access this information frequently for your observations, you can create a simple customized Quick Access page, so that you can easily bookmark it in your browser favorites or add a shortcut to your mobile phones' home screen.

Available Resources

Dwarf Planet 1 Ceres Position and Finder Charts

Below we provide Dwarf Planet 1 Ceres finder charts showing where the object is right now in the sky with respect to the brightest stars. The first finder chart has a field of view of 50 degrees, while the second one has a field of view of 10 degrees. Click on each finder chart to access a full screen interactive Online Planetarium.

Finder chart of 1 Ceres in Scorpius on December,06 2023
Map showing Dwarf Planet 1 Ceres in Scorpius on December, 06 2023
Field of view: 50x30 degrees
View fullscreen
Finder chart of 1 Ceres
Map showing Dwarf Planet 1 Ceres in Scorpius on December, 06 2023
Field of view: 10x6 degrees
View fullscreen

Higher precision deep sky finder chart, 60 arcmin wide, showing where Dwarf Planet 1 Ceres is right now. Click on the image to see a more detailed fullscreen tracker view.

1 Ceres
RA: 16h 12m 43s
Dec: -18° 31’ 55”
Deep sky finder chart for Dwarf Planet 1 Ceres
Field of view: 60x40 arcmins
View fullscreen

Also check out Where is Dwarf Planet 1 Ceres?, a page that provides all the information needed to find Dwarf Planet 1 Ceres in the sky and additional links to sky charts.

Dwarf Planet 1 Ceres Distance from Earth

The distance of Dwarf Planet 1 Ceres from Earth is currently 554,297,707 kilometers, equivalent to 3.705251 Astronomical Units. Light takes 30 minutes and 48.9381 seconds to travel from Dwarf Planet 1 Ceres and arrive to us.

30 minutes and 48.9381 seconds

The following chart shows the distance of Dwarf Planet 1 Ceres from Earth as a function of time. In the chart the distance data is measured in Astronomical Units and sampled with an interval of 1 day.

Chart of the distance of Dwarf Planet 1 Ceres from Earth in Astronomical Units (au)

The value of the reported distance might be somewhat inaccurate around the times of closest approach for objects passing extremely close to Earth. The value of the distance of 1 Ceres from Earth is also available as a real time updated value in the Live Position and Data Tracker.

Closest Approach of Dwarf Planet 1 Ceres to Earth

Between 1 January 1600 and 30 December 2499, the closest approach of Dwarf Planet 1 Ceres to Earth happens on Mon Feb 11 1636 at a distance of 1.573972 Astronomical Units, or 235,462,867 kilometers:

Mon Feb 11 1636

NOTE: values for the closest approach are computed with a sampling interval of 1 day.

Dwarf Planet 1 Ceres Brightness and Light Curve

The following chart is the predicted light curve (visual magnitude as a function of time) of Dwarf Planet 1 Ceres, according to the most recent ephemerides data. Magnitude data is sampled with a 2 days interval and there might be inaccuracies for objects changing brightness very rapidly during the course of a few days. For comets there could be large discrepancies between the observed and predicted brightness because of their highly dynamic behaviour.

Chart of the magnitude of Dwarf Planet 1 Ceres as a function of time

Dwarf Planet 1 Ceres Orbital Elements

The following table lists the orbital elements of Dwarf Planet 1 Ceres at epoch 24 February 2023 00:00 UTC (JD: 2460000.5). Source: JPL Small-Body Database

Element Symbol Value
Orbit eccentricity e 0.07881745
Orbit inclination i 10.58634327°
Perihelion distance q 2.54907953 AU
381,336,871 km
Aphelion distance Q 2.98528395 AU
446,592,124 km
Semi-major axis a 2.76718174 AU
413,964,497 km
Orbital period period 4.6033 years
1,681.3377 days
Date of perihelion transit Tp 2022-Dec-06 14:18:42
2,459,920.0963 JD
Next perihelion transit 2027-Jul-14 22:24
2,461,601.4340 JD
Argument of perihelion peri 73.470461544247°
Longitude of the ascending node node 80.260148690589°
Mean anomaly M 17.215651496148°
Mean motion n 0.21411522°/day

Visualization of Dwarf Planet 1 Ceres Orbit

This 3d orbit diagram is a feature of our 3D Solar System Simulator and shows the orbit of Dwarf Planet 1 Ceres with respect of the Sun and the orbits of the major planets. The position of Dwarf Planet 1 Ceres and the planets along their orbits in this diagram accurately represents the current configuration of the objects in the Solar System. This is an experimental feature and it requires a WebGL enabled browser. Please provide us feedback!

Orbit Diagram of Dwarf Planet 1 Ceres
View Dwarf Planet 1 Ceres in the 3D Solar System Simulator

Dwarf Planet 1 Ceres Physical Data

The following shows the known values of the most important physical parameters of Dwarf Planet 1 Ceres. Source: JPL Small-Body Database

Physical Parameter Value Relative to Earth
Diameter 952.4 km 0.0747
Sideral Rotation 9.0742 hours 0.3791
Absolute Magnitude 3.34
Geometric Albedo 0.09

Dwarf Planet 1 Ceres 15 Days Ephemeris

The following table lists the ephemerides of Dwarf Planet 1 Ceres computed for the past and next 7 days, with a 24 hours interval. Click on each row of the table to locate Dwarf Planet 1 Ceres in our Online Planetarium at the chosen date.

Date Right AscensionR.A. DeclinationDec. MagnitudeMag Constellation
2023 Nov 29 15h 59m 02s -17° 41’ 25” 8.61 Libra
2023 Nov 30 16h 00m 44s -17° 48’ 03” 8.62 Libra
2023 Dec 01 16h 02m 29s -17° 54’ 38” 8.64 Scorpius
2023 Dec 02 16h 04m 13s -18° 01’ 08” 8.65 Scorpius
2023 Dec 03 16h 05m 57s -18° 07’ 33” 8.67 Scorpius
2023 Dec 04 16h 07m 41s -18° 13’ 54” 8.68 Scorpius
2023 Dec 05 16h 09m 24s -18° 20’ 12” 8.69 Scorpius
2023 Dec 06 16h 11m 09s -18° 26’ 24” 8.70 Scorpius
2023 Dec 07 16h 12m 53s -18° 32’ 31” 8.72 Scorpius
2023 Dec 08 16h 14m 38s -18° 38’ 35” 8.73 Scorpius
2023 Dec 09 16h 16m 22s -18° 44’ 35” 8.74 Scorpius
2023 Dec 10 16h 18m 06s -18° 50’ 29” 8.75 Scorpius
2023 Dec 11 16h 19m 50s -18° 56’ 18” 8.76 Scorpius
2023 Dec 12 16h 21m 34s -19° 02’ 04” 8.77 Scorpius