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Wed Nov 21, 2012, 07:42 PM

Distant Dwarf Planet Secrets Revealed

Source: National Geographic

Distant Dwarf Planet Secrets Revealed

Andrew Fazekas
for National Geographic News
Published November 21, 2012

Orbiting at the frozen edges of our solar system, the mysterious dwarf planet Makemake is finally coming out of the shadows as astronomers get their best view yet of Pluto's little sibling.

Discovered in 2005, Makemake—pronounced MAH-keh MAH-keh after a Polynesian creation god—is one of five Pluto-like objects that prompted a redefining of the term "planet" and the creation of a new group of dwarf planets in 2006.

Just like the slightly larger Pluto, this icy world circles our sun beyond Neptune. Researchers expected Makemake to also have a global atmosphere—but new evidence reveals that isn't the case.

Staring at a Star

An international team of astronomers was able for the first time to probe Makemake's physical characteristics using the European Southern Observatory's three most powerful telescopes in Chile. The researchers observed the change in light given off by a distant star as the dwarf planet passed in front of it.

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Read more: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2012/121121-planet-atmosphere-hidden-pluto/

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Reply Distant Dwarf Planet Secrets Revealed (Original post)
Eugene Nov 2012 OP
zbdent Nov 2012 #1
FiveGoodMen Nov 2012 #2
zbdent Nov 2012 #3
jberryhill Nov 2012 #4

Response to Eugene (Original post)

Wed Nov 21, 2012, 09:10 PM

1. Earth actually was invaded by the MakeMakenians ...

but, due to a miscalculation of scale, the entire battle fleet was eaten by a small dog ...

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Response to zbdent (Reply #1)

Thu Nov 22, 2012, 08:26 PM

2. Those who study the complex interplay of cause and effect in the universe say that...

...this sort of thing is going on all the time.

I JUST re-watched that last night.

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Response to FiveGoodMen (Reply #2)

Sat Nov 24, 2012, 09:24 PM

3. I practically have the book memorized ...

I used to say it was perfectly logical that there were 5 books in the trilogy ...

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Response to Eugene (Original post)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 02:29 PM

4. Interestingly, many of the dwarf planets are thrown out of orbit by gravity fluctuations


Scientists are now trying to determine what is the farthest distance a star may throw a dwarf.

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