Haumea is one of the largest members of a family called TNO (Trans-Neptunian Object). This object called 2003 EL61 first since his first appearance in a photograph dated 2003, was officially christened by the International Astronomical Union: Haumea. The discovery of Haumea is controversial and contested by two teams. Mike Brown and his team at Caltech discovered Haumea in December 2004, from pictures they have taken May 6, 2004. On July 20, 2005, they published a report announcing the discovery at a conference in September 2005. At that time, José Luis Ortiz Moreno and his team at the Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucia in the Sierra Nevada Observatory in Spain, announced the discovery of Haumea images taken in March 2003. An email Ortiz at the MPC (Minor Planet Center) announced their discovery of the March 7, 2003, on the night of July 27, 2005. Haumea is the name of a goddess of fertility and childbirth in the mythology of the Hawaiian people. Members of CSBN (Committee on Small Body Nomenclature) of the IAU (International Astronomical Union) and WGPSN (Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature) attributed to Haumea dwarf planet status. The small solar system object joins Pluto, Ceres, Eris and Makemake. In this group, it is now considered a plutoid, that is to say, a dwarf planet located beyond the orbit of Neptune.
The two moons of Haumea receive names Hi'iaka (formerly Rodolf), which legend says she was born from the mouth of the goddess, while Namaka (formerly Blitzen), is a water spirit from his body.
The choice of these names and the legend seems relevant because astronomers believe that the two small satellites were torn from Haumea as a result of collisions, frequently within the Kuiper Belt.
This star has a chaotic form oblong like a rugby ball and its mean diameter is estimated at between 1960 and 2500 km, just below that of Pluto. Haumea described in the Kuiper Belt, an eccentric orbit between 5.25 km and 7.70 billion billion miles.
It is inclined at 28.21 ° and Haumea circled the Sun in 284.76 years. The spectroscopic analysis and examination of orbital periods of two satellites, show that Haumea is probably composed of rock and pure ice, which explains its high albedo (0.70).
Haumea is a turn on itself in about four hours, which is certainly no stranger to its oblong shape.
nota: TNO (Trans-Neptunian Object) is the family of trans-Neptunian objects, the parameters of the orbits and physical characteristics have a common origin due to collisions of the first moments of the history of the solar system.
Image: artist image Haumea and its moons Hi'iaka and Namaka.
Credit: A. Feild (Space Telescope Science Institute)
Hi'iaka and Namaka are two small satellites that revolve around Haumea, discovered by means of occlusions with Haumea. Hi'iaka nicknamed "Rudolph" by the Caltech team, was the first to be discovered, January 26, 2005. It is the largest of the two with a diameter of about 310 km. It revolves around Haumea in 49 days. The water ice covering much of its surface. Namaka, nicknamed "Blitzen" by the Caltech team, is the smaller of the two and runs on a circular orbit around Haumea in 34 days. Its discovery was announced Nov. 7, 2005. We inferred from its brightness, with a diameter equal to 12% of that Haumea, about 170 km. Brown believes that these two satellites are fragments of broken Haumea in its formation.
Image: Representation of the largest trans-Neptunian objects known, from the Earth. The four biggest: Eris, Pluto, Makemake and Haumea were granted the status of dwarf planet.