Makemake is one of the largest objects known in the outer Solar System.
Pronounced MAH-kay MAH-kay, this
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
(Caltech) in 2005,
the outer Solar System orb was officially named
for the creator of humanity in the
Rapa Nui mythology of
In 2008, Makemake was classified as a
dwarf planet under the
subcategory plutoid, making Makemake the third cataloged
plutoid after Pluto and
Makemake is known to be a world
somewhat red in appearance, with colors indicating it is
likely covered with patchy areas of frozen
No images of Makemake's surface yet exist, but an artist's illustration of the distant world is
Careful monitoring of the
brightness drop of a distant star recently eclipsed by
Makemake indicates that the dwarf planet has
European Southern Observatory