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Makemake (pronounced mah-kee-mah-kee) was named after one of the gods from the Rapanui culture. The Rapanui people are natives of Easter Island. Easter Island is located in the southeastern Pacific Ocean.

Makemake was first discovered in 2005. It was formally recognized as a dwarf planet in 2008 by the International Astronomical Union.

Like its fellow dwarf planets Pluto and Haumea, Makemake is located in the Kuiper Belt. The Kuiper Belt is an area of gas, dust, and rocky debris located at the outer edge of our solar system. Makemake and Pluto are two of the brightest objects in the Kuiper Belt.

After Pluto and Eris, Makemake is the third largest dwarf planet. It takes this dwarf planet 310 Earth years to make one orbit around the Sun. At this time, no moons have been discovered in orbit around Makemake. The other dwarf planets found in the Kuiper Belt have moons in orbit around them. It is believed that Makemake has gases frozen into ice on its surface. When observed through a special instrument on a telescope, Makemake appears reddish in color.

Artist's conception of Makemake

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A Question

How does Makemake differ from its fellow dwarf planets that are also found in the Kuiper Belt?

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The Facts
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The Answer
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StarChild Authors: The StarChild Team
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