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Welcome to the Solar System, Makemake (TPS)
briv1016
post Jul 16 2008, 04:52 AM
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(I wasn't sure where to put this so I figured if I posed it here it would eventually get transferred to the appropriate forum)

http://www.planetary.org/blog/article/00001553/

By Emily Lakdawalla

Actually, Makemake has (probably) been in the solar system for billions of years, long before there were ever humans around who cared about how to name them. But there are humans now, and we care a lot about names, so it's a great relief that the trans-Neptunian object formerly known as 2005 FY9 now has a name: "Makemake." 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. In the three years since its discovery, its discoverers (Brown, Trujillo, and Rabinowitz) have been referring to it as "Easterbunny" (it was discovered shortly after Easter) so the official name pays cute homage to that. "Makemake" is pronounced phonetically, if you speak Spanish or Italian, or, to transliterate it for English speakers, "MAH-kay-MAH-kay."

Makemake is the next brightest object in the Kuiper belt after Pluto, bright enough for astronomers to be confident that it's big enough (approximately 1,600 kilometers, roughly the same size as Saturn's second largest moon, Rhea) to become spherical under the force of its own gravity (in scientific parlance, it has likely achieved hydrostatic equilibrium). Now that it has a name, Makemake is therefore the fourth dwarf planet in the solar system, according to this page on the United States Geological Survey's Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature (the others being Ceres, Pluto, and Eris). I've updated our "Notable Trans-Neptunian objects" page to reflect the new name.
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volcanopele
post Jul 16 2008, 05:21 AM
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Done and done. Moved topic to Pluto/KBO.

Odd name, but I do like that Brown isn't just picking a random name. For EL61, perhaps he can work in the fact that it is an oblong body?


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nprev
post Jul 16 2008, 05:30 AM
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An oddly evocative, ironic (dare I say existential?) name in the English translation. Phonetically, I'm betting that it's pronounced "Mahk-ee Mahk-ee" based on the Hawaiian words I've heard.


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dvandorn
post Jul 16 2008, 07:05 AM
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QUOTE (volcanopele @ Jul 16 2008, 12:21 AM) *
For EL61, perhaps he can work in the fact that it is an oblong body?

Well, there is a small town in central Illinois named Oblong, maybe that could be part of his inspiration... smile.gif

In point of fact, I was born in Normal, Illinois, which isn't all that far from the much smaller Oblong. One day, the local paper, the Daily Pantagraph, ran in its social pages a wedding announcement with the headline "Normal Man Marries Oblong Woman." I kid you not... wink.gif

-the other Doug


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climber
post Jul 16 2008, 11:20 AM
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QUOTE (nprev @ Jul 16 2008, 07:30 AM) *
An oddly evocative, ironic (dare I say existential?) name in the English translation. Phonetically, I'm betting that it's pronounced "Mahk-ee Mahk-ee" based on the Hawaiian words I've heard.

Intersting, you beat me on this thought. I'll be interested to know how they pronounce in all Polynesian countries down to (NZ) Maoris, and even more in Rapa Nui itself (Isle de Pâques in french)


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elakdawalla
post Jul 16 2008, 01:08 PM
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I took my pronunciation from Mike Brown, who seems to be pretty sure about it now...

--Emily


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ynyralmaen
post Jul 16 2008, 03:33 PM
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Makka Pakka is a little sad that they didn't name it after him instead.

He's slightly oblong, so he's got his fingers crossed for the EL61 naming.

Edit: actually, his head is perfectly EL61-shaped!
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Guest_PhilCo126_*
post Jul 17 2008, 07:04 PM
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The only Hawaiin I know is " Aloha " and " Mahola "

http://space.newscientist.com/article/dn14...dId=space_rss20
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climber
post Jul 17 2008, 08:52 PM
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QUOTE (PhilCo126 @ Jul 17 2008, 09:04 PM) *
The only Hawaiin I know is " Aloha " and " Mahola "

In fact it's "Mahalo" not "Mahola" biggrin.gif


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illexsquid
post Jul 29 2008, 05:52 PM
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QUOTE (climber @ Jul 17 2008, 12:52 PM) *
In fact it's "Mahalo" not "Mahola" biggrin.gif


Clearly he was referring to the Hawaiian word meaning "to spread out". tongue.gif PhilCo knows some obscure Hawaiian.
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Mongo
post Nov 22 2012, 01:21 AM
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Dwarf Planet Makemake Lacks Atmosphere: Distant Frigid World Reveals Its Secrets for First Time

QUOTE
Dwarf planet Makemake is about two thirds of the size of Pluto, and travels around the Sun in a distant path that lies beyond that of Pluto but closer to the Sun than Eris, the most massive known dwarf planet in the Solar System. Previous observations of chilly Makemake have shown it to be similar to its fellow dwarf planets, leading some astronomers to expect its atmosphere, if present, to be similar to that of Pluto. However, the new study now shows that, like Eris, Makemake is not surrounded by a significant atmosphere.


QUOTE
Makemake's lack of moons and its great distance from us make it difficult to study, and what little we do know about the body is only approximate. The team's new observations add much more detail to our view of Makemake -- determining its size more accurately, putting constraints on a possible atmosphere and estimating the dwarf planet's density for the first time. They have also allowed the astronomers to measure how much of the Sun's light Makemake's surface reflects -- its albedo. Makemake's albedo, at about 0.77, is comparable to that of dirty snow, higher than that of Pluto, but lower than that of Eris.


I cannot say that I am surprised by this news. Makemake is significantly further from the Sun than Pluto, so it would be expected to have a lower surface temperature -- and since Pluto is already so cold that it barely supports a thin atmosphere that probably collapses into "snow" as it recedes from the Sun, I always doubted that much of an atmosphere could exist on Makemake.
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TheAnt
post Jun 29 2016, 04:26 PM
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A moon have finally been detected at Makemake. It currently orbits edge on from our line of sight from Earth, and assuming it got bound rotation it was quite hard to detect now that it also happened to be very dark. Southwest Research Institute discovers moon over Makemake in the Kuiper Belt, faint moon previously obscured by the glare of the icy dwarf planet.
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