At the dwarf planet Makemake is no atmosphere


22/11/2012

European Southern Observatory astronomers have found that in contrast to the next door Pluto a dwarf planet Makemake, no atmosphere. Summary of the research scientists published in the journal Nature, can be found at the observatory.

Opening of the astronomers were able to make due to the fact that Makemake was held under the light of a star. The so-called "stellar eclipse" called in astronomy coating was observed in South America, 23 April 2011, and was recorded by all three telescopes belonging to the European Southern Observatory.

The conclusion that there are no signs of an atmosphere on Makemake was based on the observation, during which it was noted that during the star’s light cover missing and reappeared, but very sharp. The presence in the atmosphere of a celestial body allows this phenomenon to occur gradually, as part of the light begins to dissipate the gas shell. According to the calculations of astronomers, the maximum level of gas pressure on Makemake is not more than 12 billionths the pressure of Earth’s atmosphere, which is less than 250 times the pressure on Pluto.

Also, during the observations, astronomers were able to specify parameters such as the size and density of a dwarf planet. The shape of Makemake bit stretched, and its larger and smaller diameter equal to 1430 and 1502 km respectively. Regarding the density, it reaches 1.7 grams per cubic centimeter. In addition, the astronomers estimated and albedo of a planet or the fraction of radiation that is reflected from its surface. Albedo Makemake was 77 percent, which is slightly higher than that of Pluto, but lower than that of Iris - two neighboring dwarf planets.


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