solar system > Dwarf planets > Makemake

Opened in 2005 by Makemake

Opened in 2005 by Makemake

Makemake – the fourth largest dwarf planet in the solar system: characteristics, discovery, radius, name, photo, satellites, atmosphere, research.

In 2003, Michael Brown and his Caltech team launched a series of discoveries that changed our understanding of the solar system. They initially found Eris, which called into question the concept of a planet. Subsequent finds hinted even more strongly at the need to change the classification.

In 2005, they noticed Makemake, whose status is still controversial. But the IAU officially recognized that this is the 4th dwarf planet.

Discovery and name of the dwarf planet Makemake

The dwarf planet Makemake was found in 2005 with the help of the Palomar Observatory. The announcement of the discovery coincided with the discovery of Eris. At first Brown thought to wait, but his experience with Haumea taught him to speak quickly about finds.

It was originally named 2005 FY9 or Easter Bunny because it was spotted after Easter. In 2008, they gave the official name Makemake. You can admire the dwarf planet Makemake in the photo of the Hubble telescope.

Makemake as viewed by the Hubble telescope

Makemake as viewed by the Hubble telescope

Scientists wanted to preserve the connection with Easter, so they took the name of the deity from the Rapa Nui myth.

Size, mass and orbit dwarf planet Makemake

Spitzer’s IR survey, as well as Herschel’s data, showed a diameter of 1360-1480 km, and a mass of 4 x 1021 kg. Thanks to this, the dwarf is in the 3rd position in size among TNOs. The radius of Makemake at the equator is 751 km, and at the poles – 715 km.

Physical characteristics of the dwarf planet Makemake

Opening Details
opening date March 31, 2005
Pioneers Michael Brown, Chadwick Trujillo, David Rabinowitz
Orbital characteristics
Semi-major axis 45.436301 a. e.
Eccentricity 0.16254481
Period of circulation 111867 days
Mood 29.011819 °
Apparent magnitude 16.7
physical characteristics
Dimensions (edit) 1478 ± 34 km
Surface area ~ 6,300,000 km²
Weight ~ 3 1021 Kg
Density 1.7 ± 0.3 g / cm3
Albedo 0.77 ± 0.03

The eccentricity is 0.159, so Makemake approaches the Sun at a distance of 5.76 billion km and moves away to a maximum of 7.94 billion km. It takes 309.09 years to fly around the star, and 7.77 hours to rotate the axis.

Some dwarf planets consider TNO based on the nature of contact with Neptune.

Some dwarf planets consider TNO based on the nature of contact with Neptune.

Makemake’s orbit is located far from Neptune, so the object is free from the giant’s influence. The dwarf is considered to be a dynamically hot body of the Kuiper belt object class.

Composition and surface dwarf planet Makemake

Average density of 1.4-3.2 g / cm3 indicates that the composition of the celestial body contains a rocky core and an ice crust. Ice is represented by frozen methane and ethane. The Herschel and Galileo telescopes showed that the surface layer is very bright (albedo – 0.81), which looks like a Pluto situation.

The color of the dwarf planet Makemake appears red, which means there is a high level of tholins on the ice layer.

Atmosphere dwarf planet Makemake

In 2011, there was an eclipse with a star of 18th magnitude. As a result, Makemake obscured all her own glow. This means that the dwarf planet lacks a remarkable atmosphere, which does not fit into early findings. But methane is able to guarantee a transitional atmosphere.

Artistic representation of the Makemake surface

Artistic representation of the Makemake surface

When a dwarf planet approaches the Sun, nitrogen and other ices sublimate, forming a thin atmospheric layer. This would explain nitrogen depletion.

Satellites dwarf planet Makemake

Makemake satellite

Makemake satellite

A review of the Hubble telescope in 2016 showed in the photo the presence of the only satellite, Makemake S / 2015. It is 175 km wide and 21,000 km distant from the dwarf planet.

Study dwarf planet Makemake

So far, NASA and other space agencies are not preparing projects for the study of the Kuiper belt, and Makemake does not appear anywhere. But, if you send the probe on August 21, 2024 or August 24, 2036, then the journey will take a little over 16 years. We’ll have to use Jupiter as a gravitational slingshot.


The planets of the solar system
Dwarf planets Pluto · Ceres · Haumea · Makemake · Eris
Terrestrial planets Mercury · Venus · Earth · Mars
Gas giants Jupiter · Saturn · Uranus · Neptune
solar system

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