Monday, July 14, 2008

Newest "Dwarf" Planet Named.

The International Astronomical Union (IAU) has named its first new dwarf planet since its extremely controversial decision to demote Pluto. The new dwarf planet Makemake was discovered March 31, 2005 M.E. Brown, C.A. Trujillo, and D.Rabinowitz. The dwarf planet was named after Make-make, the creator of humanity in the Easter Island mythology.

Makemake (pronounced "maki-maki") is now the fourth dwarf planet (after Pluto, Ceres, and Eris). Little is known definitively about Makemake, but the prescience of methane suggests similarities with Pluto and Eris. Will Sedna be next?

Of course with the definition of "planet" and "dwarf planet" being so controversial, this might end up being the official naming of the twelfth planet.

<Universe Today article>

<Mike (M. E.) Brown's planet's blog with many recent entries on dwarf planets and Makemake>

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