Makemake

An artist's impression of Makemake
Credit: NASA, ESA, A. Parker and M. Buie (Southwest Research
Institute), W. Grundy (Lowell Observatory), and K. Noll (NASA GSFC)

Makemake (pronounced Mah-keh Mah-keh) is a dwarf planet. It was discovered in 2005 and was officially named a dwarf planet in 2008. 

Makemake is part of the Kuiper Belt. It takes about 305 Earth years to make one orbit of the Sun. It orbits the Sun from a distance of about 46 astronomical units (AU), way beyond Neptune. However, it is sometimes as close as 39 AU or as far out as 53 AU. This is because its orbit has an elliptical shape. If we sent a spacecraft to Makemake, it would take at least 16 years to get there! 

Like Haumea, Makemake is smaller than the dwarf planets, Eris and Pluto. It has a radius of about 400 km. This means you could fit about 20 Makemake-sized objects side-by-side across the diameter of the Earth. Despite its small size, Makemake is the second brightest object in the Kuiper Belt.

Makemake is made of rock and ice. Observations suggest it is very cold. It has an average temperature of around -243°C (or 30K). Its surface is a red-brown colour, similar to Pluto. 

In 2016, the Hubble Space Telescope spotted a small moon orbiting Makemake. The moon does not have an official name yet.