was named after the Hawaiian goddess of childbirth and fertility
and officially designated a "dwarf planet"  by the International
Astronomical Union on September 17, 2008.
was co-discovered by a Caltech team headed by M. E. Brown, on December
28, 2004, from images taken on May 6, 2004, and by J. L. Ortiz’s
team at Sierra Nevada Observatory, on July 29, 2005, from
images taken on March 7, 2003,  and is unique amongst dwarf planets
(although the tiny world's gravity meets the "nearly
round" requirement, a rapid rotation possibly due to the impact
which produced its two moons has dramatically elongated it).
orbit of 34.72 AU at perihelion and 51.54 AU at aphelion places this
trans-Neptunian object (plutoid) squarely in the Kuiper belt,  its
location part way between Pluto and Makemake.
Spectroscopic analysis of Haumea seems to indicate a surface of almost
pure water ice surrounding a rocky core.
size is estimated to be roughly that of Makemake (probably slightly
smaller), with a mass a third that of Pluto. Its surface temperature is
approximately -240 °C. Its atmosphere, if any, an unknown.
date Haumea has two known moons: Hi‘iaka and Namaka.
 Originaly nicknamed Santa by the Caltech team because of the date
of discovery (December 28).
A "dwarf planet" is a celestial body that (a) is in orbit around the
Sun, (b) has sufficient mass for its self-gravity to overcome rigid
body forces so that it assumes a hydrostatic equilibrium (nearly round
shape), (c) has not cleared the neighborhood around its orbit and (d)
is not a satellite.
 In truth both the date of discovery and the names of the
discoverers are still a matter of contention.
The Kuiper belt is a region of the outer Solar
System populated by
billions of rock-ice objects. It reaches from the orbit of Neptune (30
AU) outward to approximately 55 AU.
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