The Moons of Haumea



The two moons orbiting Haumea are small without the mass/self-gravity necessary to assume a spherical shape:

Hi‘iaka, [1] named after the patron goddess of Hawaii and daughter of Haumea, was discovered by M. E. Brown, David Rabinowitz and the rest of the California Institute of Technology team on January 26, 2005. This larger and brighter satellite of Haumea has a diameter of about 310 kilometers, a surface composition similar to its primary (probable confirmation of the impact theory) and no apparent atmosphere.

Namaka, [2] named after a daughter of Haumea a water spirit, was discovered by M. E. Brown, Chad Trujillo and the rest of the Caltech team on June 30, 2005. It has a diameter of about 170 kilometers, a surface similar in composition to the larger moon (a thin layer of water ice surrounding a rocky core) and no atmosphere.

[1] Originaly nicknamed Rudolph because of its affiliation with Haumea (Santa).

[2] Originaly nicknamed Blitzen because of its affiliation with Haumea (Santa).




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