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Moon Discovered Orbiting Dwarf Planet Makemake

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posted on Apr, 27 2016 @ 11:36 AM
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Astronomers have found a moon orbiting the dwarf planet Makemake (pronounced MAH-kay MAH-kay).

That makes Makemake the last (known) dwarf planet in the Kuiper belt to be known to have a moon. The other bodies in the Kuiper belt that have officially been designated as dwarf planets have all previously been found to have moons (Pluto has 5 known moons, Haumea 2, Eris 1) so Makemake seemed like the odd-planet out, until now.

There are other known kuiper belt objects (some with moons) that have not yet been categorized as dwarf planets, although some astronomers argue that maybe they should. That list includes Orcus (1 known moon), Quaoar (1 known moon), Salacia (1 known moon), Sedna (No known moons), 2002 MS4 (No known moons), and 2002 OR10 (No known moons). These are the known ones; astronomers believe that there are hundreds, maybe thousands, of Pluto-like or Eris-like objects in the Kuiper belt.

Sources:
Dark Moon Discovered Orbiting Dwarf Planet Makemake

Makemake, the Moonless Dwarf Planet, Has a Moon, After All


Image Source: hubblesite.org...


edit on 4/27/2016 by Soylent Green Is People because: (no reason given)




posted on Apr, 27 2016 @ 01:10 PM
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OK so it has a moon.
Why is that so special?



posted on Apr, 27 2016 @ 02:26 PM
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originally posted by: samkent

OK so it has a moon.
Why is that so special?


Did the OP or thread say it was special?

Awareness of solar neighborhood is important, for when we truely develop and find a way off this rock we will have a better understanding of what exists in our solar bubble.

But to an average Joe it means nothing



posted on Apr, 27 2016 @ 02:50 PM
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originally posted by: samkent

OK so it has a moon.
Why is that so special?


I didn't say it was special. What I said was that Makemake was the only Kuiper belt dwarf planet to not have a known moon -- until now.

In fact, that makes Makemake LESS special than it previously was when it was thought6 to potentially be moonless. Now it is just like Pluto, Haumea, Eris, Quaoar, Salacia and some other relatively large Kuiper belt bodies with moons.

I would think that if it turns out that most of these large Kuiper belt bodies are found to have moons (and I don't yet know if that is the case), then the ones without moons would be conspicuous oddities, and potentially worthy of instigating why they are moonless. An astronomy doctoral student could probably latch on to something like that.


edit on 4/27/2016 by Soylent Green Is People because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 3 2016 @ 08:31 AM
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I am blown away by how much our knowledge of the solar system has increased the last 15 years. Blown away. It's a privilege to witness all these new discoveries.



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