X-37B Spacecraft American



The discovery of Makemake's little moon increases the parallels between Pluto and Makemake. This is because both of the small icy worlds are already known to be well-coated in a frozen shell of methane. Furthermore, additional observations of the little moon will readily reveal the density of Makemake--an important result that will indicate if the bulk compositions of Pluto and Makemake are similar. "This new discovery opens a new chapter in comparative planetology in the outer Solar System," Dr. Marc Buie commented in the April 26, 2016 Hubble Press Release. Dr. Buie, the team leader, is also of the Southwest Research Institute. Discovering the little moon also reinforces the theory that most dwarf planets have moons. Cassini wasn't originally designed to spot signs of life in the Enceladus plume. In fact, planetary scientists didn't even know that the plume existed until after the spacecraft reached Saturn.