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Dwarf planet carries shiny coat of ice

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posted on May, 15 2011 @ 10:37 AM
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The solar system's fifth dwarf planet, Haumea, and at least two of its satellites are covered in crystalline water-ice, European astronomers say. The tiny planet, shaped more or less like a rugby ball and about 1,200 miles long, moves beyond the orbit of Neptune. It rotates on its axis every 4 hours, giving it one of the fastest rotation speeds in the solar system, a release from the Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology said Thursday. The frozen water that covers Haumea and its two satellites, Hi'iaka and Namaka, makes them shine in the darkness of space, astronomers say. Scientists say they believe the two satellites could have been created by another object smashing into Haumea, which could also have started the rapid rotation of the dwarf planet and given it its soccer ball shape. Haumea is the fifth dwarf planet in the solar system along with Pluto, Ceres, Eris and Makemake. Its existence was confirmed in 2005.


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Another dwarf planet confirmed., fascinating that it would be covered with water ice. Makes me wonder what Dawn may find as it visits Vesta and then Ceres.

Dawn Mission




posted on May, 15 2011 @ 10:44 AM
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Good find op... I like stories like this.. Although there is a discrepancy in the exerpt of the article you have used..
It states it is a rugby ball shape and later states it's a soccer ball shape..



posted on May, 15 2011 @ 10:49 AM
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reply to post by Misterlondon
 


I noticed that also sloppy work that. I am going with rugby shaped as I think they were trying to say that its two satellites and high rotation speed may indicate was recently in a collision.



posted on May, 15 2011 @ 11:28 AM
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I would think the Horizon mission is more likely to answer questions of this new planetoid discovery than the Dawn mission would.

Yet, exciting times abound us right now! So much more work to do.



posted on May, 15 2011 @ 11:31 AM
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Originally posted by Illustronic
I would think the Horizon mission is more likely to answer questions of this new planetoid discovery than the Dawn mission would.

Yet, exciting times abound us right now! So much more work to do.


Yeah I meant to post that mission also but I got distracted...Thanks
I dont think either mission plans to study this object but both are studying similar things



posted on May, 15 2011 @ 11:39 AM
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reply to post by iforget
 


Contributions are appreciated. This is the first I've heard of Haumea. Sometimes this place ROCKS!



posted on May, 15 2011 @ 06:19 PM
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Originally posted by Illustronic
reply to post by iforget
 


Contributions are appreciated. This is the first I've heard of Haumea. Sometimes this place ROCKS!


Haumea was discovered in 2004 by Mike Brown, who also discovered Eris in 2003. It was Mike Brown's discovery of Eris (which is bigger than Pluto, and has its own moon) that directly contributed to the demotion of Pluto to "Dwarf Planet".

When Eris was discovered, it should have been considered the 10th planet, but the International Astronomical Union (IAU) decided to re-classify what Pluto and Eris were by creating the whole new category called "Dwarf Planets". Haumea is included as one of those dwarf planets. The IAU probably figured that if Pluto was a planet, then Eris, Haumea, and who knows what else should rightly be considered planets.

There is some controversy surrounding the discover of Haumea. Supposedly, a Spanish team led by José Luis Ortiz Moreno confirmed the object before Brown did (Brown was studying -- but had not yet confirmed -- the existence of Haumea). However, it was later discovered that the Spanish team may have used Mike Brown's research to help confirm the location of the object.

Controversial Dwarf Planet Finally Named Haumea

Mike Brown's Blog Entry Regarding the Controversy


edit on 5/15/2011 by Soylent Green Is People because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 15 2011 @ 06:21 PM
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the universe must be one of the most diverse things

it is truly amazing and exciting to constantly find new things

it's much like exploring ones imagination



posted on May, 15 2011 @ 07:31 PM
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reply to post by topsykrets89
 


Not to mention that in our own little solar system we have such diverse representations of different kinds of worlds, no two nearly alike, and very interesting anomalies among our neighborhood.

Soylent Green Is People you make me feel so out of touch with the space exploration endeavors going on and as always, thanks for helping me learn more about it. Its not like this was a focus of my studied interest until fairly recently, to this kind of depth.



posted on May, 15 2011 @ 10:25 PM
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Considering how much we haven't explored of our own planet, I imagine we have many exciting things to learn of our solar system. If only we could freely fly to a distant planet in our own private ship we took out a lone to buy and study these planets our selves.



posted on May, 16 2011 @ 09:43 AM
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Haumea is oval in shape, so it looks a lot more like a rugby ball than a soccer ball.



posted on Jul, 25 2011 @ 10:37 PM
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Haumea's surface is covered with crystalline water ice. " Crystalline ice is what we all have in our fridges — the molecules of water are aligned in lattices," researcher Benoit Carry, an astronomer at the European Space Astronomy Centre in Madrid, told SPACE.com. Moreover, observations from the Very Large Telescope (VLT) at the European Southern Observatory in Chile reveal that 100 percent of Haumea's 250-mile (400-km) moon Hi'iaka is covered with crystalline ice. The same might hold true of Haumea's other moon, the 125-mile (200-km) Namaka, although the scientists did not get a good enough look at it to confirm this.

Instead of crystalline ice, researchers had expected Haumea to be covered in amorphous ice, where the molecules of water are disorganized. Although the dwarf planet receives about 2,000 times less sunlight than Earth, the assumption was that there was still enough ultraviolet radiation in this light to destroy any crystalline ice structures on Haumea over the course of millions of years. "Since solar radiation constantly destroys the crystalline structure of ice on the surface, energy sources are required to keep it organized," Carry said. [Top 10 Strangest Things in Space] This energy likely comes from radioactive elements inside Haumea, such as potassium-40, thorium-232 and uranium-238, as well as a roughly equal amount of heat generated by the gravitational tidal forces Haumea and its satellites exert on each other, the researchers find. These findings shed light on the forces that shape the mysterious Kuiper Belt objects beyond the orbit of Neptune.


Haumea Update
edit on 7/25/2011 by iforget because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 26 2011 @ 12:17 AM
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I thought Haumea was a moon of either Jupiter or Saturn, considering they both have 50+ moons. I think its just amazing how there are 100+ planets in our solar system. I think if a moon can be bigger then Ceres, it's a dwarf planet, which is still a planet.

I'm just trying to figure out where all these celestial bodies are in our solar system, and what it actually looks like somewhat to size. There's no way its can be just 11 planets including the Sun and the Moon...



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