APOD: Makemake of the Outer Solar System (2012 Dec 26)

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APOD: Makemake of the Outer Solar System (2012 Dec 26)

Post by APOD Robot » Wed Dec 26, 2012 5:08 am

Image Makemake of the Outer Solar System

Explanation: Makemake is one of the largest objects known in the outer Solar System. Pronounced MAH-kay MAH-kay, this Kuiper belt object is about two-thirds the size of Pluto, orbits the Sun only slightly further out than Pluto, and appears only slightly dimmer than Pluto. Makemake, however, has an orbit much more tilted to the ecliptic plane of the planets than Pluto. Discovered by a team led by Mike Brown (Caltech) in 2005, the outer Solar System orb was officially named Makemake for the creator of humanity in the Rapa Nui mythology of Easter Island. In 2008, Makemake was classified as a dwarf planet under the subcategory plutoid, making Makemake the third cataloged plutoid after Pluto and Eris. Makemake is known to be a world somewhat red in appearance, with colors indicating it is likely covered with patchy areas of frozen methane. No images of Makemake's surface yet exist, but an artist's illustration of the distant world is shown above. Careful monitoring of the brightness drop of a distant star recently eclipsed by Makemake indicates that the dwarf planet has little atmosphere.

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Re: APOD: Makemake of the Outer Solar System (2012 Dec 26)

Post by bystander » Wed Dec 26, 2012 5:10 am

Know the quiet place within your heart and touch the rainbow of possibility; be
alive to the gentle breeze of communication, and please stop being such a jerk.
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Re: APOD: Makemake of the Outer Solar System (2012 Dec 26)

Post by henrystar » Wed Dec 26, 2012 12:01 pm

The FIRST words of the caption should be "artist's illustration."

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Re: APOD: Makemake of the Outer Solar System (2012 Dec 26)

Post by neufer » Wed Dec 26, 2012 12:58 pm

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Re: APOD: Makemake of the Outer Solar System (2012 Dec 26)

Post by Boomer12k » Wed Dec 26, 2012 1:03 pm

Like the EX-Girlfriend....COLD AND DISTANT!!!!

Interesting rendition, I would think it should be dimmer maybe.

In 1983-88-ish. My friends and I were into, well, um, er..."alternative spiritual pursuits", let us say. In one session, we learned of another planet. It was not in the same plane as the other planets different than even Pluto, it was farther out than Pluto. And now, here is a very close object to what was described.

GooooOOOOO, MAKEMAKE!!!!!!

"He's King of Kuiper Belt....yeeeeaaah....do the MAKEMAKE!!!!" He sang, gliding across the floor.

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Last edited by Boomer12k on Wed Dec 26, 2012 1:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: APOD: Makemake of the Outer Solar System (2012 Dec 26)

Post by Boomer12k » Wed Dec 26, 2012 1:04 pm

We will have to stop by when we get out there. :D

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Re: APOD: Makemake of the Outer Solar System (2012 Dec 26)

Post by satarbet » Wed Dec 26, 2012 1:45 pm

After having read the description of what constitutes a dwarf planet, I find myself in the Allen Stern camp. I think that they should be included in the list of planets that orbit our sun. I see no reason why they shouldn't be and I'm not sure what the reluctance to do so is. I have never agreed with Pluto being dropped from the list. Scientific or romantic notion, I like the idea of discovering that there are more planets, whatever their size, orbiting the sun than we knew.

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Re: APOD: Makemake of the Outer Solar System (2012 Dec 26)

Post by orin stepanek » Wed Dec 26, 2012 2:07 pm

satarbet wrote:After having read the description of what constitutes a dwarf planet, I find myself in the Allen Stern camp. I think that they should be included in the list of planets that orbit our sun. I see no reason why they shouldn't be and I'm not sure what the reluctance to do so is. I have never agreed with Pluto being dropped from the list. Scientific or romantic notion, I like the idea of discovering that there are more planets, whatever their size, orbiting the sun than we knew.
http://asterisk.apod.com/viewtopic.php? ... 99#p116696

I also think the kitty monitoring the dryer is kind of cute! :D
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Re: APOD: Makemake of the Outer Solar System (2012 Dec 26)

Post by geckzilla » Wed Dec 26, 2012 2:25 pm

I'm pretty sure that Makemake is a "dwarf planet" rather than a "dwarf not a planet" ... really not sure what all the fuss is. ;)
Just call me "geck" because "zilla" is like a last name.

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Re: APOD: Makemake of the Outer Solar System (2012 Dec 26)

Post by El Sniffo » Wed Dec 26, 2012 3:30 pm

OK, pardon my dull wit. Makemake's orbit is "much more tilted to the ecliptic plane" than Pluto's. Does "tilted to" the ecliptic mean the same as "divergent from" it?
Thanks.

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Re: APOD: Makemake of the Outer Solar System (2012 Dec 26)

Post by gvnn » Wed Dec 26, 2012 3:41 pm

As artist's renditions go, this is not one of the best. The statistics of craters and crater sizes is astoundingly and implausibly uniform. This artist, clearly, did not spend too much time looking at the cratered surfaces of other solar-system objects for which we do have images. But what truly surprised me is the pattern of stars in the sky. Not only is the statistical distribution of stars also all wrong, I can't understand why use an artist's rendition for something for which we DO have images. It would have been better to show the sun superposed on a background of the actual constellations that are behind the sun at the present time, as viewed from Makemake.

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Re: APOD: Makemake of the Outer Solar System (2012 Dec 26)

Post by neufer » Wed Dec 26, 2012 3:49 pm

El Sniffo wrote:
Makemake's orbit is "much more tilted to the ecliptic plane" than Pluto's.
Does "tilted to" the ecliptic mean the same as "divergent from" it?
  • Possibly. (It depends what you mean by "divergent from" it.)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Makemake_%28dwarf_planet%29 wrote: <<Orbits of Makemake (blue), Haumea (green), contrasted with the orbit of Pluto (red) and the ecliptic (grey). The perihelia (q) and the aphelia (Q) are marked with the dates of passage. The positions on April 2006 are marked with the spheres illustrating relative sizes and differences in albedo and colour.>>
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Re: APOD: Makemake of the Outer Solar System (2012 Dec 26)

Post by ta152h0 » Wed Dec 26, 2012 4:51 pm

would it not be a horrible disaster if New Horizons got too close to Pluto and was slung out in a perfect trajectory to visit this object - would it not be a horrible disaster if New Horizons got too close to Pluto and was slung out in a perfect trajectory to visit this object
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Re: APOD: Makemake of the Outer Solar System (2012 Dec 26)

Post by ldecola » Wed Dec 26, 2012 5:36 pm

i agree with henrystar: any APOD that's an artistic rendering (e.g. 2012 December 26 'Makemake of the Outer Solar System') should be clearly labeled as such in the title...

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Re: APOD: Makemake of the Outer Solar System (2012 Dec 26)

Post by Chris Peterson » Wed Dec 26, 2012 5:42 pm

satarbet wrote:After having read the description of what constitutes a dwarf planet, I find myself in the Allen Stern camp. I think that they should be included in the list of planets that orbit our sun. I see no reason why they shouldn't be and I'm not sure what the reluctance to do so is. I have never agreed with Pluto being dropped from the list. Scientific or romantic notion, I like the idea of discovering that there are more planets, whatever their size, orbiting the sun than we knew.
No worry. They are planets (as is Pluto). The definition of "planet" hasn't changed with the current IAU usage, simply how the term is used in in a certain narrow realm of scientific discussion... and even there, no consensus exists. It should be pretty obvious to any reasonable person that a "dwarf planet" can't be anything other than a type of planet!
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Re: APOD: Makemake of the Outer Solar System (2012 Dec 26)

Post by owlice » Wed Dec 26, 2012 7:29 pm

I disagree with henrystar; the text clearly states this is an illustration and I think that's fine.
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Re: APOD: Makemake of the Outer Solar System (2012 Dec 26)

Post by cosmic creature » Wed Dec 26, 2012 7:33 pm

I hate to nitpick, Robert, but it should be "farther", not "further".....

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Re: APOD: Makemake of the Outer Solar System (2012 Dec 26)

Post by Ann » Wed Dec 26, 2012 7:54 pm

I like the name, "Makemake". :D

As to how cratered this minor planet is, well, I guess that's anybody's guess until we've taken a closer look.

I find the red color fascinating. Pluto, too, is apparently quite red. But Pluto's large moon, Charon, is plain gray.

Fascinating! Image Image

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Re: APOD: Makemake of the Outer Solar System (2012 Dec 26)

Post by orin stepanek » Wed Dec 26, 2012 9:43 pm

geckzilla wrote:I'm pretty sure that Makemake is a "dwarf planet" rather than a "dwarf not a planet" ... really not sure what all the fuss is. ;)
You know; ( and not to make a biggie out of it) there are dwarf people; and I like to address them as people and not dwarfs! I think it would be unkind! I feel that about planets! It's not really a big deal; but for some of us; Pluto will always be a full fledged planet! Sure it's smaller than some; but so what? Just because a group of astronomers waited till the majority of astronomers went home to cast their vote making dwarfs out of planets we probably haven't even discovered yet!
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Re: APOD: Makemake of the Outer Solar System (2012 Dec 26)

Post by geckzilla » Wed Dec 26, 2012 9:47 pm

orin stepanek wrote:
geckzilla wrote:I'm pretty sure that Makemake is a "dwarf planet" rather than a "dwarf not a planet" ... really not sure what all the fuss is. ;)
You know; ( and not to make a biggie out of it) there are dwarf people; and I like to address them as people and not dwarfs! I think it would be unkind! I feel that about planets! It's not really a big deal; but for some of us; Pluto will always be a full fledged planet! Sure it's smaller than some; but so what? Just because a group of astronomers waited till the majority of astronomers went home to cast their vote making dwarfs out of planets we probably haven't even discovered yet!
Well, then, I suppose you should stop classifying any object. Henceforth we shall not distinguish oranges from apples and all will be known simply as fruits.
Just call me "geck" because "zilla" is like a last name.

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Re: APOD: Makemake of the Outer Solar System (2012 Dec 26)

Post by orin stepanek » Wed Dec 26, 2012 9:50 pm

ta152h0 wrote:would it not be a horrible disaster if New Horizons got too close to Pluto and was slung out in a perfect trajectory to visit this object - would it not be a horrible disaster if New Horizons got too close to Pluto and was slung out in a perfect trajectory to visit this object
I believe the plan is that after New Horizons visits Pluto; it will look for other Kuiper Belt objects to study! 8-)
Orin

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Re: APOD: Makemake of the Outer Solar System (2012 Dec 26)

Post by orin stepanek » Wed Dec 26, 2012 9:59 pm

geckzilla wrote:
orin stepanek wrote:
geckzilla wrote:I'm pretty sure that Makemake is a "dwarf planet" rather than a "dwarf not a planet" ... really not sure what all the fuss is. ;)
You know; ( and not to make a biggie out of it) there are dwarf people; and I like to address them as people and not dwarfs! I think it would be unkind! I feel that about planets! It's not really a big deal; but for some of us; Pluto will always be a full fledged planet! Sure it's smaller than some; but so what? Just because a group of astronomers waited till the majority of astronomers went home to cast their vote making dwarfs out of planets we probably haven't even discovered yet!
Well, then, I suppose you should stop classifying any object. Henceforth we shall not distinguish oranges from apples and all will be known simply as fruits.
If you want; but I don't see where you think I'm combining apples and oranges. So you might classify the big 4; the little 4 and the dwarfs; and pretty soon you have all kinds of classifications to worry about. Sure the differences are there; but if you want to get picky each and every planet is different; so you could have all kind of different objects to classify! Why not just say planets; and if you talk about a particular one you can tell about it's properties! 8-)
Orin

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Re: APOD: Makemake of the Outer Solar System (2012 Dec 26)

Post by 7U_D4 » Wed Dec 26, 2012 10:03 pm

I lived in HI for a couple of years in the '70s and had the chance to visit the summit of Mauna Kea Christmas day of 1977 (and returned summer of '99). The CHF was nearing completion in '77. While by '99 the summit started to look like a subdivision.

Anyway, from the Hawaiian slang I picked up in the 70's I assumed the name of the (non-) dwarf planet referred to being lifeless. in Hawaiian make (MAH-kay) means dead and makemake would be really really dead. I think it is a fitting descriptor for a world deeper in darkness than Pluto.

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Re: APOD: Makemake of the Outer Solar System (2012 Dec 26)

Post by geckzilla » Wed Dec 26, 2012 10:20 pm

orin stepanek wrote:If you want; but I don't see where you think I'm combining apples and oranges. So you might classify the big 4; the little 4 and the dwarfs; and pretty soon you have all kinds of classifications to worry about. Sure the differences are there; but if you want to get picky each and every planet is different; so you could have all kind of different objects to classify! Why not just say planets; and if you talk about a particular one you can tell about it's properties! 8-)
I'm simply applying the same anthropomorphism to fruits as you are to the planets. I wouldn't want to offend them by pointing out their differences and labeling them accordingly.
Just call me "geck" because "zilla" is like a last name.

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Re: APOD: Makemake of the Outer Solar System (2012 Dec 26)

Post by Ron-Astro Pharmacist » Wed Dec 26, 2012 10:26 pm

Abyssinians are a curiuos breed. So, probably, are Makemakians. :lol2: