Ceres (dwarf planet)
This article is about the celestial body. For the deity, see Ceres (mythology).
Ceres is a dwarf planet located between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. It is named after the Roman goddess of the harvest.
Ceres was discovered on January 1, 1801 by Sicilian astronomer Giuseppe Piazzi. Initially, the object was classified as a planet, then later as an asteroid. In 2006, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) standardized classifications of stellar objects and reclassified Ceres as a dwarf planet.
On September 7, 2007, the Dawn spacecraft was launched to explore Ceres and Vesta. It is expected to arrive at Ceres in February 2015.