Haumea

Haumea is a dwarf planet which can also be replaced with the term plutoid. It seems to appear from spherical, but its ellipsoidal shape was assumed to be resulted from its rapid rotation. It can be explained by a stretched out water balloon when it was tossed in a spin. It is not due to insufficient gravity. A rockier object which has higher density stretches out less than low dense lighter object. One can determine how dense the object is by observing how much it stretches. And it was concluded that the dwarf planet is almost entirely made of rock. Once the planet’s weight is known, the size of it is that can be figured out.

Haumea has a higher eccentricity orbit compared to its other members of collisional family. It is thought that its weak fifth order orbital resonance with Neptune has its initial orbit to be changed gradually by Neptune through Kozai effect.

It is in the third ranking of the brightest object in Kuiper belt and can be easily observed by using a large amateur telescope. The brightness of an object allows us to know much sunlight they are reflecting. This is caused by two main possibilities, which are how large they are or how reflective they are. Soon after the object was discovered, a moon orbiting the object was discovered as well.  Haumea’s mass can be determined precisely by following the moon’s orbit for 6 months.

There are two small satellites that have been discovered so far, orbiting the dwarf planet namely Haumea I Hi’iaka and Haumea II Namake. Hi’iaka was first discovered on the 26th January 2005. It has approximately 310km in diameter and orbits the dwarf planet every 49 days in an almost cicular path. Namaka, which is the inner satellite and smaller in size, was discovered in 30th June 2005. It orbits the dwarf planet in 18 days.

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