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by ibgames

EARTHDATE: May 8, 2016

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by Hazed

The planet Makemake is the second brightest dwarf planet, after Pluto. It lives in the Kuiper belt way out on the edge of the Solar System, and it’s one of the five dwarf planets in our system.

Now the Hubble telescope has spotted that it has an ice moon. This new moon has been named MK 2, and it’s about 1,300 times fainter than its parent, and is just 160km in diameter.

The Hubble’s Wide Field Camera found the moon a year ago. Lead image analyser research scientist Dr Alex Parker of Southwest Research Institute, Boulder, Colorado, says the team used the same technique employed to observe Pluto’s small satellites. “Makemake is in the class of rare Pluto-like objects, so finding a companion is important,” Parker says.

“The discovery of this moon has given us an opportunity to study Makemake in far greater detail than we ever would have been able to without the companion.”

The astronomers now hope to compare Makemake and Pluto, giving them a rare chance to compare similar bodies in the outer solar system.

Source: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2016/04/27/hubble_rubble_makemake_ice_moon_spotted_in_kuiper_belt/

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