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New Dwarf Planet (and Plutoid): Maki-Maki

The object that has now gained its name and status was discovered in 2005. Its diameter is estimated to be half that of Pluto

Plutoid. illustration
Plutoid. illustration

An object discovered about three years ago in the Kuiper belt has now been given a real name and classification as a dwarf planet and a plutoid by the International Astronomical Union (IAU). It was previously called 2005 FY9 or 136472, and was unofficially known as the Christmas Bunny. The third largest trans-Neptunian object known today was named Makemake. The bone is named after the creator of the gods from Christmas Island mythology.

Astronomer Mike Brown, one of the discoverers of Maki-Maki, wrote in his blog that the World Astronomy Association accepted his request from about six months ago to give the object an appropriate name. "Three years is a long time for a body of this size to remain with a long identification number instead of a name." Brown writes that he is pleased that the union has accepted the name he and his staff suggested.

Maki-Maki is now the fourth dwarf planet in the solar system, and the third Plutoid, about a month after the Catalog Plutoid itself was formed. Maki-Maki is the second brightest object today after Pluto, and with an apparent magnitude of about 16.7 it is bright enough to be seen Using amateur telescopes, though only the most powerful ones. It can be seen in the area of ​​the constellation Bernica hairs.

The Spitzer Space Telescope studied Maki-Maki using its infrared capabilities, which demonstrated the presence of methane, most likely in Maki-Maki's atmosphere. Its size is not yet known exactly, but from Spitzer's data together with its spectral image of Pluto, astronomers estimate its diameter to be about 1,500 km. No moon is known to orbit Maki-Maki.

The bone was discovered by Mike Brown, Chad Trujillo and David Rabinowitz on March 31, 2005, shortly before Christmas of that year. They called him the Easter Bunny (an easier name than his official names) and after considering different names, they came up with the name Maki-Maki for Christmas Island (also known by its local name Rafa Noi).

Maki-Maki is the creator of mankind and the god of fertility in the mythology of the island located in the South Pacific Ocean. He was the head of the gods of the Taganata Manu - the sect of the human birds - a sect that claimed that his image was embodied in sea birds. Its material symbol, a man with a bird's head is found in cave paintings on the island.

For the news in Universe Today

7 תגובות

  1. I'm a bit confused, does maka-maka orbit the sun
    Close to Mars, or it simply crosses the orbit of the planets
    These (Pluto and Eris)?
    Another question: if it is closer to the sun than Eris, why is it not named?
    He is the 10th (dwarf) planet, and is Eris called that?
    I know Eris is called a planet, but that doesn't discount the possibility
    To call Maka-Maka that way.
    Still, I know a lot about space (more than anyone here I'd say),
    And the research is interesting, but I am no longer involved in it, and I am against all research flights
    For the space that burns money, and I also advocate that stars should not be explored in depth,
    Because they come to heresy and try to prove that humanity is worth nothing in my search
    Live in other celestial bodies. Besides that, all the stars (Mars, etc.)
    to which they want to fly will contribute nothing in propulsion and fuel and the renewal of life in the universe.
    I think it's better to research them deeply, but not waste money and flights on them.
    You can look at them and enjoy, and that's it.
    In other words: don't be right, be smart.
    In simple words - don't invest in idle flights to the stars for fuel to drive
    Humanity's machines, and you will understand that you will never reach the distant universe, because from Mars
    And then the distance is quite large and you can observe it without putting any effort into research.
    I hope you got the message.

  2. Friend, sorry, it happens that mistakes are made when a two-year-old child is sitting next to me on a flight, who keeps getting in the way...
    Anyway I fixed it

  3. I did not dispute the existence of Christmas Island
    But the original article says Easter Island

  4. I was amused

    Easter Island in Hebrew is "Easter Islands"
    Easter is the Christian holiday
    Christmas doesn't have a rabbit while Easter does (and rather oddly it's made of wood)

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