16.7.08

Another Tiny World, Arbitrarily

Makemake, the second brightest Kuiper Belt Object after Pluto, has officially been categorized as a dwarf planet. As usual, I need to stress that this whole form of categorisation is completely artbitrary, not reflecting any kind of real attribute that these worlds possess or lack. I still think that Asimov came up with the only really valid categorisation for the worlds that orbit a star, dividing them up into gas giants (Jupiter, Saturn et al.) and 'debris' (everything else, including Earth).

But I do like the dwarf planet category, if only because it highlights worlds that might otherwise never make the spotlight. So: Makemake. It's bright. It's in the Kuiper Belt. At 1600 km across, we're confident that it's probably pretty round.

Not about to steal Best in Show from Ceres any time soon, methinks.

Hat tip: Planetary Society Blog

2 comments:

Zhoen said...

So, a planet for all the Ironfounderssons and Stronginthearms....


(Reading way too much Pratchett lately.)

chiya said...

Yeah I agree it seems arbitrary.

11:11, make a wish!