solar system > Dwarf planets > Haumea

An artistic vision of Haumea and her companions: Hiiyaka and Namaka

An artistic vision of Haumea and her companions: Hiiyaka and Namaka

Haumea – dwarf planet of the solar system: description and characteristics with a photo, detection, name, composition, surface, mass, size, satellites, research.

In recent years, the area beyond Neptune has provided a massive field for new discoveries. Since 2003, it has been possible to find the dwarf planets Eridu, Sedna, Kwavar, Makemake and Ork. Haumea was also found between them – a bizarre and elongated object with a family of satellites.

Haumea is the largest member of the Trans-Neptunian Objects (TNO). It differs not only in elongation, but also in high density and albedo.

Discovery and name of the dwarf planet Haumea

Due to the lack of clear criteria, dwarf planets remain controversial. The very discovery of Haumea is credited to Michael Brown and Jose Ortiz. The first was found in 2004 with the help of the Keck Observatory and announced in 2005. After 7 days, Ortiz announced the discovery. You can see the dwarf planet Haumea in the photo.

2003 EL61 Haumea with Hiyaak and Namak

2003 EL61 Haumea with Hiyaak and Namak

In 2008, the IAU announced that it was a dwarf planet, but there was not a word about the discoverer. But the name was suggested by Michael Brown. The name is taken from Hawaiian myths. Haumea is the goddess in charge of fertility. It was the perfect name because it fit into tradition and honored the place where the planet was found.

Ortiz’s team suggested the name Ataesina, who was the Iberian goddess of spring. But this was not in keeping with tradition. Before the official name, scientists used the nickname Santa, because the object was noticed immediately after Christmas.

Size, mass and orbit dwarf planet Haumea

Determining the parameters, density and mass of the planet Haumea is extremely difficult. It is a bright and large object, which makes it possible to calculate the albedo, but due to the rapid rotation, it is difficult to calculate the size. The Keck Telescope, Spitzer, and Herschel helped to derive some data from the ellipsoid model.

Physical characteristics of the dwarf planet Haumea

Opening Details
opening date December 28, 2004
Pioneers Michael Brown, Jose Luis Ortiz
Orbital characteristics
Semi-major axis 42.98492 a. e.
Eccentricity 0.1975233
Period of circulation 102,937 days
Mood 28.201975 °
Apparent magnitude 17.3
physical characteristics
Dimensions (edit) 1960 × 1518 × 996
Surface area ~ 2 107 km²
Weight ~ (4.006 ± 0.040) 1021 Kg
Density ~ 2.6-3.3 g / cm3
Albedo 0.84

Brown made the first calculations. Its parameters are 2000 x 1500 x 1000 km. Spitzer showed a diameter of 1050-1400 km, and further led to 1450 km. In 2010, calculations showed an estimate of 1,300 km.

That is, the diameter of the object converges with Pluto in the length of the axis and covers half at the poles. Mass indicator – 4 x 1021 kg (1/3 of Pluto). Haumea is massive enough to achieve hydrostatic balance. Elongation in shape is created due to the rapid rotation.

The minimum distance from the Sun to Haumea is 5.23 billion km, and the maximum is 7.7 billion km. It spends 284 days per pass, the orbital tilt is 28 °, and the axial rotation is 3.9 hours.

Composition and surface dwarf planet Haumea

Density – 2.6-3.3 g / cm3, which converges with the Earth’s satellite Moon. In this case, the dwarf may be composed of silicate minerals like olivine and pyroxene. It can be assumed that most of the mass is a stone with a thin ice crust. Perhaps in the past, the mantle was much thicker, but worn away with numerous blows.

In brightness it reaches the level of snow. High albedo levels are associated with crystalline ice. Approximately 66% -80% of the surface layer is represented by pure water ice with possible admixtures of hydrogen cyanide or phyllosilicate clay. Cyanide salts may also be present.

It was possible to note a large dark red area. It could be a shock scar with remnants of minerals and organic compounds.

Classification dwarf planet Haumea

Haumea is considered a dwarf planet. That is, she was able to round out under the influence of her gravity, but did not clear the area around her. But this is not a sphere, but rather an ellipsoid. It’s all about too high rotational speed. At first it was considered an ordinary object of the Kuiper belt and only in 2006 its nature was revised.

Satellites dwarf planet Haumea

Haumea has two companions named after the daughters of the goddess: Hiiaka and Namaka. Both were found in 2005 by Brown’s team. The outer one is Hiiaka, whose diameter is 310 km. Its orbital path is 49 days. The IR survey shows the presence of pure water ice on the surface layer. It is believed to be part of a dwarf planet.

Namaka is smaller and orbits the planet in 18 days. Both satellites travel along an extremely elliptical orbital path. There is no information about the mass of information.

Study dwarf planet Haumea

No mission has yet visited Haumea and there are no plans either. However, there were hypothetical ideas. For example, one could send a probe in 2025 and the trip would take 14.25 years. If launched in 2026, it will take 16.45 years.

If we can carry out missions to the nearest planets, then we can talk about the arrival to the dwarf as early as 2039.


The planets of the solar system
Dwarf planets Pluto · Ceres · Haumea · Makemake · Eris
Terrestrial planets Mercury · Venus · Earth · Mars
Gas giants Jupiter · Saturn · Uranus · Neptune
solar system

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