Path of the shadow of Makemake as it crossed the Earth on 23 April 2011

This diagram shows the path of the shadow of the dwarf planet Makemake during an occultation of a faint star in April 2011. Several sites in South America, including ESO’s La Silla and Paranal Observatories, saw the star disappear briefly as its light was blocked by Makemake. This dwarf planet is about two thirds of the size of Pluto, and travels around the Sun in a distant path that lies beyond that of Pluto, but closer to the Sun than Eris, the most massive known dwarf planet in the Solar System. Makemake was expected to have an atmosphere like Pluto, but the new occultation data show that this is not the case. Note: the actual shape of the shadow on Earth will not be exactly round as shown here. This diagram is to illustrate the phenomenon.

Credit:

ESO/L. Calçada

About the Image

Id:eso1246b
Type:Artwork
Release date:21 November 2012, 19:00
Related releases:eso1246
Size:2608 x 1630 px

About the Object

Name:Makemake
Type:• Solar System : Interplanetary Body : Dwarf planet
• X - Illustrations

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