If you’re trying to find out a bit more about Makemake, then you’re definitely in the right place! Makemake is one of the most interesting dwarf planets to learn about, as it’s the newest one to be discovered. It’s one of five dwarf planets, four of which are located in the Kuiper belt. If you aren’t sure what a dwarf planet is, then check out guide to dwarf planets first!
So, we know that the second furthest dwarf planet Makemake has an interesting name, but ther’s actually a lot more to know about it than just this. Let’s take a look at some of the coolest facts about Makemake and what makes it so cool (literally, it’s freezing!).
Makemake Facts for Kids
- Unlike many other planets that are named after Roman mythology, Makemake actually takes its name from Polynesian mythology, known as Rapanui. Makemake was the God of Fertility and the creator of humanity.
- Makemake was actually founded back in 2005, 2 years later than any other dwarf planet, which makes it to newest dwarf planet to be discovered.
- Like 3 of the other Dwarf planets, it was discovered in the Kuiper belt, which is a large Cheerio shaped ring around the Sun. This ring is so big, that it goes past all of the main planets!
- When Makemake was found back in 2005, it was the inspiration for astronomers to make a definition for ‘dwarf planets’. If it wasn’t for Makemake, Pluto might still be a planet (check out more Pluto facts!)
- If you’re wondering how to pronounce Makemake, it’s said (MAH-KEY-MAH-KEY!).
- Makemake only has one moon, which was discovered as recently as in 2016! The nickname for Makemake’s moon is MK 2, and when it was spotted it was situated 13000 miles away from this Kuiper belt object.
- Makemake was found by a guy called Michael E Brown (and his awesome team!). He named it Makemake likely because the discovery was quite close to Easter time, and Makemake is a God on Easter Island!
- Until Brown and his team named the dwarf planet, they referred to it as the “Easter bunny” amongst themselves.
- Makemake is similar to Pluto in the way that its surface is covered in Methane, the same as Pluto. The surface of Makemake is supposedly comprised of frozen methane!
- However, it’s not quite as bright as Pluto. This makes it the second brightest object in the Kuiper belt. The third brightest is Haumea (read more Haumea facts!).
- Makemake is one of the most interesting dwarf planets, because we know so little about it! We still aren’t really sure on the history of Makemake and how it came to be.
- If you wanted to travel from Jupiter to Makemake, it’s estimated that it would take you 16 years to travel that far!
- The average temperature of Makemake is -240 degrees! This is because it’s so far away from the Sun that it’s freezing!
- It’s theorized that Makemake could have been discovered with Pluto back in 1930. However this wasn’t the case, as Makemake was so close to the Milkyway that astronomers couldn’t see it!
- Many people wonder how long it takes for the light from Makemake to reach Earth. The answer? More than 7 hours!
Makemake Common Questions
Why is Makemake named Makemake?
Makemake is named such after the Polynesian God of Fertility, who is a creator God in the Rapa Nui mythology of Easter Island.
How long is a day on Makemake?
A full day on Makemake is only 22.5 hours, which is 1.5 hours less than a day on earth.
Can you see Makemake from Earth?
Yes, you can see Makemake from Earth. It is actually the second brightest dwarf planet in the Kuiper belt, after Pluto.
Is Makemake bigger than Pluto?
Makemake isn’t as bright as Pluto, and it also isn’t as big as the other dwarf planet either. It’s approximately 66% of the size of Pluto.
It Makemake Hot or Cold?
Makemake is located in the Kuiper Belt, and it’s very very cold out there! So yes, Makemake is a cold dwarf planet.
These are just some of the interesting facts and details that we known about Makemake. Of course, as each year passes we actually learn more about each dwarf planet, so we are expected to learn more about Makemake soon – as well as discovering more dwarf planets! If you have any cool facts or questions about Makemake, please leave a comment below.