Makemake is the third-largest known dwarf planet in the Solar System and one of the two largest Kuiper belt objects (KBO) in the classical KBO population. Its diameter is roughly three-quarters that of Pluto. Makemake has no known satellites, which makes it unique among the largest KBOs. Its extremely low average temperature (about 30 K) means its surface is covered with methane, ethane and possibly nitrogen ices. Initially known as 2005 FY9 (and later given the minor planet number 136472), it was discovered on March 31, 2005 by a team led by Michael Brown, and announced on July 29, 2005. On June 11, 2008, the IAU included Makemake in its list of potential candidates to be given "plutoid" status, a term for dwarf planets beyond the orbit of Neptune that would place the object alongside Pluto and Eris. Makemake was formally classified as a plutoid in July 2008.

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Today's selected anniversaries:


Emperor Taizu began his reign in China, initiating the Song Dynasty period that would eventually last for more than three centuries.


Forty-six of the Forty-Seven Ronin committed seppuku (ritual suicide) in Edo, present-day Tokyo, as recompense for avenging the death of their master, Daimyo of Akô Asano Naganori.


German scholar Constantin von Tischendorf rediscovered the Codex Sinaiticus, a 4th century uncial manuscript of the Greek Bible, in Saint Catherine's Monastery at the foot of Mount Sinai in Egypt.


USS Nautilus, the first nuclear-powered submarine, logged her 60,000th nautical mile, matching the endurance of the fictional Nautilus described in Jules Verne's novel Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea.


Under a new Constitutional Charter, the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was reconstituted into a loose confederation of Serbia and Montenegro.

Wiktionary's word of the day:

raconteur (n):
A storyteller, especially a person noted for telling stories with skill and wit

Wikiquote quote of the day:

Mistakes are part of the game. It's how well you recover from them, that's the mark of a great player.   --Alice Cooper