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Published on May 29th, 2013 | by Yellow Magpie

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Dwarf Planet Makemake: The Creator Of Humanity

Dwarf Planet Makemake Photo By NASA And The Hubble Telescope

Dwarf planet Makemake is a moonless world that inhabits the far reaches of the Solar System. This frozen proto-planet is one of many objects that form a collection of large bodies known as the Kuiper Belt.

On the last day in March, 2005, Chad Trujillo, David Rabinowitz and Michael Brown discovered the dwarf planet Makemake. The finding was made using the Palomar Observatory in San Diego, California.

Physical Characteristics

Dwarf planet Makemake is thought to be up to 1,500 kilometres (1.5 megametres) at its widest. It orbits the Sun from an average distance of just under 46 Astronomical Unites (AU). One AU is the distance between the  Earth and the Sun.

A year on Makemake lasts almost 310 Earth-years. A day on the other hand lasts just under eight hours.

Dwarf Planet Makemake Along With Other Kuiper Belt Objects Photo By Lexicon Creative Commons ShareAlike Licence

Makemake is one of the coldest of the Kuiper Belt Objects with a temperature thought to be 30 degrees Kelvin (minus 243 degrees Celsius).

Colour And Composition

From observations gathered using the William Herschel Telescope the surface of dwarf planet Makemake is thought to be red in colour.

Methane, is believed to be one of the most dominant chemicals present on the surface of dwarf planet Makemake. Frozen nitrogen is also understood to exist on the dwarf planet.

Unlike other large sized Kuiper Belt objects Makemake does not currently have an atmosphere. Although this may change as the dwarf planet draws closer to the Sun.

Dwarf Planet Makemake Artist Impression ESO/L. Calçada/Nick Risinger (skysurvey.org) European Southern Observatory

Dwarf Planet Makemake’s Name

Originally given the temporary title of Easterbunny the name Makemake was eventually chosen.

Makemake is the name of the original Easter Island god of creation.

The Origins Of Dwarf Planet Makemake

Dwarf planet Makemake is thought to have originated from the remains of an accretion disc that orbited the Sun during the early days of our Solar System. Unlike the disc that gave birth to the planets, this accretion disc was spread out over a much wider area.

This meant that objects like Makemake failed to coalesce into proper planets. Instead they became just large enough to form proto-planets or dwarf planets.

Highly Recommended Reading

Visit Wikipedia for more information on Makemake.

Check out Yellow Magpie’s The Kuiper Belt: Home To The Dwarf Planets for more insight into this fascinating region of the Solar System.

You may also wish to take a gander at The Solar System And Beyond: A Guide To The Cosmos.

Cosmos is a highly recommended book. It contains large, full-page pictures of the asteroids and writing on the subject by the highly competent author, Giles Sparrow.

Amazon.co.uk
For people living in Ireland or the United Kingdom, you can access: Cosmos from here.

Amazon.ca
For those who live in Canada, you can obtain: Cosmos here.

Amazon.de
For Germany: Cosmos.

Amazon.fr
For France: Cosmos.


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