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The answer depends on your definition of "officially recognized" and whether you consider newly discovered celestial bodies.

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The answer depends on your definition of "officially recognized" and whether you consider newly discovered celestial bodies.

Here's a breakdown based on different perspectives:

Officially recognized by the International Astronomical Union (IAU):

  • There are currently five dwarf planets officially recognized by the IAU:
    • Ceres
    • Pluto
    • Haumea
    • Makemake
    • Eris

Newly discovered objects with possible dwarf planet status:

  • Several other celestial bodies are considered potential dwarf planet candidates based on their size and orbital characteristics. However, they haven't yet been officially recognized by the IAU due to ongoing observations and the need to confirm they meet all the specific criteria.

General estimates:

  • Some estimates suggest there could be hundreds or even thousands of dwarf planets within our solar system, especially in the Kuiper Belt beyond Neptune's orbit. However, these estimates are based on theoretical models and require further exploration and confirmation through astronomical observations.

Therefore, depending on the definition and perspective you consider:

  • The current number of officially recognized dwarf planets is 5.
  • The number of potential dwarf planet candidates is higher, with ongoing discoveries and investigations.
  • Estimates suggest the total number of dwarf planets in our solar system could be significantly higher, but further confirmation is required.
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