PostHeaderIcon A New (Dwarf) Planet!

Makemake. A new name to add to your list.

Makemake (pronounced “maki-maki” “MAH-kay MAH-kay”) is the newest dwarf planet. It was discovered in 2005, but just gained its new official status (and name) in mid-July.

Kuiper Belt Objects
Artist’s conception of the largest known Kuiper Belt Objects and their moons.
Credit: A. Feild (Space Telescope Science Institute) edited by Alice

“Makemake is the creator of humanity and god of fertility in the mythology of the South Pacific island of Rapa Nui, known to most speakers of English as Easter Island” says Emily Lakdawalla. Oddly enough, in the interim between discovery and official naming, Mike Brown and his cohort have been calling this solar system object “Easterbunny.”

Want More?

Emily’s got a great article over at The Planetary Society
Mike Brown’s Commentary (He’s the one who named it)

Where’d I Get My Info?

USGS’s official site

One Response to “A New (Dwarf) Planet!”

  • Paul says:

    Hello Alice,

    If you are even a little wistful about Pluto’s demotion to dwarf planet status, singer-songwriter Jonathan Coulton wrote a sweet little song, in which Charon consoles Pluto. Rather than attach a file, I’ll just point you to J.C.’s site:

    http://www.jonathancoulton.com

    Click on “music”, the song is called “I’m Your Moon”, in the “Thing a Week Four” album. Listening if free; he wants a dollar to download. You can also subscribe to the podcast and get all of the songs in the “Thing a Week” series free.

    Cheers,
    Paul

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