Fourth dwarf planet named Makemake

IAU Press Release:

The International Astronomical Union (IAU) has given the name Makemake
to the newest member of the family of dwarf planets — the object
formerly known as 2005 FY9 — after the Polynesian creator of humanity
and the god of fertility.

Members of the International Astronomical Union’s Committee on Small
Body Nomenclature (CSBN) and the IAU Working Group for Planetary System
Nomenclature (WGPSN) have decided to name the newest member of the
plutoid family Makemake, and have classified it as the fourth dwarf
planet in our Solar System and the third plutoid.

Makemake (pronounced MAH-keh MAH-keh) is one of the largest objects
known in the outer Solar System and is just slightly smaller and dimmer
than Pluto, its fellow plutoid. The dwarf planet is reddish in colour
and astronomers believe the surface is covered by a layer of frozen
methane.

Full Article: http://www.iau.org/public_press/news/release/iau0806/

~ by Stella's Gaze on July 22, 2008.

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