Hubble Found Moon Orbiting the Dwarf Planet Makemake Video

The moon — provisionally chosen S/2015 (136472) 1 and nicknamed MK 2 — is extra than 1,300 times fainter than Makemake. MK 2 was seen about 13,000 miles from the dwarf planet, and its diameter is predictable to be 100 miles across. Makemake is 870 miles wide. The dwarf planet, exposed in 2005, is named for a formation deity of the Rapa Nui people of Easter Island.
The Kuiper Belt is a vast reservoir of leftover frozen material from the building of our solar system 4.5 billion years ago and home to more than a few dwarf planets. Some of these worlds have recognized satellites, but this is the first finding of a companion object to Makemake. Makemake is one of 5 dwarf planets documented by the International Astronomical Union.
The observations were completed in April 2015 with Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3. Hubble’s unique ability to see faint objects close to bright ones, together with its sharp decision, allowed astronomers to pluck out the moon from Makemake’s glare. The finding was announced today in a Minor Planet Electronic Circular.
The observe team used the same Hubble technique to observe the moon as they did for verdict the small satellites of Pluto in 2005, 2011, and 2012. Several preceding searches around Makemake had curved up empty. “Our preliminary estimate show that the moon’s orbit seems to be edge-on, and that means that often when you appear at the system you are leaving to miss the moon because it gets lost in the bright glare of Makemake,” said Alex Parker of Southwest study Institute, Boulder, Colorado, who led the picture analysis for the observations.
A moon’s detection can provide valuable information on the dwarf-planet system. By measuring the moon’s path, astronomers can calculate a mass for the system and increase insight into its evolution.
Uncovering the moon also reinforce the idea that the majority dwarf planets have satellites.
“Makemake is in the class of rare Pluto-like matter, so finding a friend is important,” Parker said. “The finding of this moon has given us an opportunity to learn Makemake in far greater detail than we ever would have been able to with no the companion.”
Hubble Found Moon Orbiting the Dwarf Planet Makemake Video
Finding this moon only increase the parallels between Pluto and Makemake. Both objects are by now known to be covered in frozen methane. As was done with Pluto, additional study of the satellite will easily reveal the thickness of Makemake, a key result that will indicate if the bulk composition of Pluto and Makemake are also alike. “This new discovery opens a new chapter in relative planetology in the outer solar system,” said team head Marc Buie of the Southwest Research organization, Boulder, Colorado.
The Hubble Space Telescope is a plan of international collaboration between NASA and the European Space Agency. NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, manage the telescope. The Space Telescope Science institution (STScI) in Baltimore, Maryland, conducts Hubble science operation. STScI is operated for NASA by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy in Washington, D.C.

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