Haumea – Dwarf Planet

Haumea is the third closest dwarf planet to the Sun with a distance of 43 astronomical units. It was originally designated as 2003 EL61. On September 17th, 2008, it was classified as a dwarf planet by the International Astronomical Union (IAU). It takes 285 Earth years to make one trip around the Sun.

The rotation of this dwarf planet is so fast and because of this it has turned into an ellipsoid. It spins on its axis once every 3.9 hours. It is one of the fastest rotating large objects in our solar system.

Quick Facts: –

  • Haumea has been named after a Hawaiian goddess. In Hawaiian mythology, Haumea is the goddess of fertility and childbirth.
  • It resides in the Kuiper belt and is roughly the same size as Pluto.
  • It is the farthest known object in the solar system to possess a ring system.
  • It originated from a collision which makes it one of the densest dwarf planets discovered to date.
  • It is believed to have been created about 4.5 billion years ago, approximately the same time as the Sun.
  • It has a very elongated shape and its diameter measures 1,960 kilometers at its longest.
  • It is the third brightest object in the Kuiper Belt after Pluto and Makemake.
  • It was the first dwarf planet to be discovered because at that time, Pluto was still classified as a planet.
  • It has two small moons orbiting it. They are named as Hi’iaka and Namaka.
  • It has been concluded by scientists that most of Haumea’s interior is rocky and it is covered by a thin icy shell.