For those looking for to learn about Haumea, you’ve come to the perfect place! Haumea is one of the most interesting of the five dwarf planets, and there’s a lot to learn about it. It’s a one off in comparison to the other planets due to it’s weird egg shaped – but we’ll get into why it’s shaped like that in a minute!
So, lets take a look at some of the coolest facts about the egg-shaped planet, Haumea!
Haumea Facts for Kids
- Haumea is actually named after the Hawaiian Goddess of the same named. She was the Goddess of fertility and childbirth, and was responsible for created the islands in Hawaii.
- Haumea was discovered back in 2005, which was the same years that astronomers discovered the dwarf planet Eris.
- Haumea is located in the Kuiper Belt, which is a large region beyond Nepture and all of the other planets. It’s a large donut shape that extends out around the Sun. As well as Haumea, two other dwarf planets that are in the Kuiper belt are Pluto and Makemake.
- Although the other dwarf planets are spherical, Haumea takes on more of an egg shape. It actually probably wasn’t always this way, but after a collision billions of years ago, Haumea started rotating faster, which in turn has caused it to be shaped like an egg.
- Haumea and Pluto are very similar in size to one another, more so than any of the other dwarf planets.
- Haumea has two moons, one called Namaka and one named Hi’iaka. These are also named after the daughters of Hawaiian goddess Haumea – Namaka is the goddess of hula dancers, and Hi’iaka is a water spirit!
- In 2017, Haumea because the first object in the Kuiper belt that astronomers discovered rings! The ring is about 40 miles wide and in line with Haumea’s equator.
- Although astronomers aren’t sure, we think that like Pluto, Haumea is made up of rock, within a frozen surface.
- Haumea has a big red spot on it’s surface, which astronomers believe might have been the point where it collided with another planet or object.
- Because Haumea rotates so quickly, it has one of the shortest day lengths amongst the planets. A full day on Haumea is equal to 3.9 earth hours!
- Haumea was discovered in 2004, by Mike Brown and his team at Caltech. It was then further discovered separately by Jose Luiz Ortiz Moreno and his Spanish team in Granada, Spain.
- If you put Haumea next to the Earth, you’d be able to fit 3 Haumea’s next to it due to it’s
- If you’re lucky, sometimes you can actually see Haumea with a telescope! This is because after Eris and Pluto, it’s the brightest in the Kuiper belt.
Common Questions about Haumea
Why is Haumea oval shaped?
Haumea is oval shaped because the planet rotates so fast, it’s gone from a spherical shape into more of an egg shape! We think this is because of a collision millions of years earlier.
What is Haumea known for?
Aside from being known for how fast it rotates, Haumea is also known for it’s two moons, Nimama and Hi’iaka.
Is Haumea hot or cold?
Like the other dwarf planets in the Kuiper belt, Haumea is actually very cold. It’s colder than -240 degrees, which means that it’s probably frozen on the outside!
How big is Haumea?
Haumea has a radius of 816km. This makes it bigger than Makemake, but smaller than another dwarf planet, Eris.
How many years does it take Haumea to orbit around the Sun?
Because of it’s large distance from the Sun, it actually takes 284 years for Huamea to make one full rotation. This means that since we’ve known it exists, it’s never even made a full rotation.
Overall, Haumea is one of the most interesting dwarf planets that we’ve discovered. It’s strange shape confused astronomers for many years until they eventually theorized that this must be due to a collision with another object! If you have any more interesting facts about Haumea, please leave them below.