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Solar System Scratchpad

[Boiler Plate]

Fifth dwarf planet recognized, originally called 2003 EL61. Discovery claimed by two teams, one was able to claim discovery, while another to name the object. Originally code named Santa, now named after a goddess, whose body was broken up to form the Hawaiian island. Though to have broken up 4.5 BYA and formed two satellites (made of pure water ice), in addition to a family that shares its orbit (some of which became comets), the first such family found in the Kuiper Belt. Its satellites are unusual in that they are not coplanar. Originally classified as a classic Kuiper Belt object, it has now been shown to be in 7:12 orbital resonance with Neptune. In a highly inclined orbit similar to Makemake and the third apparent brightest body in the Kuiper Belt. Spins so fast (4 hours), that it is shaped somewhat like a cigar, yet remains in hydrostatic equilibrium. Likely mostly rock with a thin layer of water ice, unusual in that it doesn't show signs of Methane. Surface is mottled, with a large red spot high in organics, possibly a crater, though not as extreme as Pluto. Its surface appears to by crystalline ice, which is caused by tidal forces with its moon and radiogenic elements.

Web Pages[]

Haumea System[]

Satelites Collision Family

Haumea Places[]

  • Haumea's Red Spot - A large red spot on Haumea's oblong surface, possibly a crater. It could represent a spot with even higher concentration of crystalline ice as the rest of the surface or it could represent irradiated minerals or organic matter.

Haumea in the News[]


Discoverer wanted more data before announcing, one moon already known.
Possibly larger than Sedna, and largest known at time, but discovered just before Eris.

Moon Discovered (Jan 2005)[]

Second Moon Discovered (Dec 2005)[]

First Kuiper Belt Collision Family Identified (Mar 2007)[]

Named Haumea in Dispute (Sep 2008)[]

Haumea's Moons are Pure Ice (Apr 2009)[]

Haumea Studies (Jun 2009)[]

Red Organic Spot Discovered (Sep 2009)[]

Radioactivity May Power Crystalline Ice at Surface (May 2011)[]

Feature Articles[]

How I Killed Pluto and Why It Had It Coming Book (Jan 2011)[]

See also Eris, Pluto

Eris Could Be as Small as Pluto (Dec 2010)[]

See Eris, Pluto, Haumea, Makemake, Sedna