Latest Haumea Stories

2011-08-24 10:15:34

  Scientists at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) have discovered that a dwarf planet at the edge of the solar system, dubbed 2007 OR10, is an icy world with about half its surface covered in water ice that once flowed from ancient, slush-producing volcanoes. The red-tinged planet, nicknamed Snow White, may also be covered in a thin layer of methane, the last remnant of an atmosphere slowly being dissipated into space, astronomers said. "You get to see this nice...

2011-05-12 10:39:40

The fifth dwarf planet of the Solar System, Haumea, and at least one of its two satellites, are covered in crystalline water-ice due to the tidal forces between them and the heat of radiogenic elements. This is the finding of an international research study using observations from the VLT telescope at the European Southern Observatory in Chile. The tiny and strange planet Haumea moves beyond the orbit of Neptune. It has the shape of a flattened rugby ball and is around 2,000 km long. It spins...

2011-01-13 10:25:00

In the outer reaches of our solar system lies a mysterious region far more remote and difficult to explore than the Australian outback. It remains the only part of our solar system not visited by spacecraft. Called the Kuiper Belt, this area beyond Neptune is home to the dwarf planets Pluto, Eris, Makemake, and Haumea. It also harbors thousands of smaller objects that form a second, icy asteroid belt (or more appropriately, comet belt). In this realm of perpetual twilight, the distant sun...

2010-06-20 08:18:52

A large group of scientists, including Jay Pasachoff, Bryce Babcock, and Steven Souza at Williams College, reveal the character of one of the most distant objects in the solar system in a scientific paper which appeared in the June 17 issue of the journal Nature. In observing the object named 2002 TX300 on October 9, 2009, as it passed in front of a distant star, they could tell what its surface is like and its size. For several years, Pasachoff, Babcock, and Souza have worked with James...

2010-06-16 14:31:04

Occultation provided enough data to determine the KBO's size and albedo Until now, astronomers have used telescopes to find Kuiper Belt objects (KBOs), moon-sized bodies, and obtain their spectra to determine what types of ices are on their surface. They have also used thermal-imaging techniques to get a rough idea of the size of KBOs, but other details have been difficult to glean. While astronomers think there are about 70,000 KBOs that are larger than 100 kilometers in diameter, the...

2009-09-16 05:30:00

A dark red area discovered on dwarf planet Haumea appears to be richer in minerals and organic compounds than the surrounding icy surface. The discovery will be presented at the European Planetary Science Congress in Potsdam by Dr Pedro Lacerda on Wednesday September 16. The spot was discovered by measuring changes in its brightness as it rotates.  The origin of the spot is unknown, however its "light curve", which describes variations in its brightness over time, is not exactly the same...

2008-10-03 10:00:00

When a treasure hunt comes up empty-handed, the hunters are understandably disappointed. But when astronomers don't find what they are looking for, the defeat can provide as much information as a successful search. The search in question, the Taiwanese-American Occultation Survey (TAOS), spent two years periodically photographing portions of the sky to look for small chunks of rock and ice orbiting beyond Neptune, in a region of the solar system called the Kuiper Belt. The survey targeted...

2008-09-19 17:02:55

Pluto and its dwarf planet brethren have a new friend. The International Astronomical Union (IAU) announced the name of a new dwarf planet to join the existing four in the solar system. The object previously known as 2003 EL61 is now named Haumea, after the goddess of childbirth and fertility in Hawaiian mythology. The name was decided by members of the International Astronomical Union's Committee on Small Body Nomenclature and the IAU Working Group for Planetary System...

2007-03-24 13:40:00

PASADENA, Calif. -- In the outer reaches of the solar system, there is an object known as 2003 EL61 that looks like and spins like a football being drop-kicked over the proverbial goalpost of life. Still awaiting a more poetic name, 2003 EL61 largely escaped the media hubbub during last year's demotion of Pluto, but new findings could make it one of the most important of the Kuiper-belt objects for understanding the workings of the solar system. In this week's Nature, the original discoverer...

2005-09-10 09:38:31

Astrobiology Magazine -- When planetary scientists announced on July 29 that they had discovered a new planet larger than Pluto, the news overshadowed the two other objects the group had also found. But all three objects are odd additions to the solar system, and as such could revolutionize our understanding of how our part of the celestial neighborhood evolved. To the discoverers, the objects still go by the unofficial code-names "Santa," "Easterbunny," and "Xena," though they are...

Word of the Day
  • A stinking tobacco.
  • Offal; waste animal product; organic matter unfit for consumption.
This word comes from the Spanish 'mondongo,' tripe, entrails.