Moons of Haumea

The outer Solar System planetoid Haumea has two known moons, Hiʻiaka and Namaka, named after Hawaiian goddesses. These small moons were discovered in 2005, from observations of Haumea made at the large telescopes of the W. M. Keck Observatory in Hawaii.

Animation of Haumea and its moons, imaged by Hubble in 2008. Hiʻiaka is the brighter object around Haumea (center), and Namaka is the dimmer object below.
Scale diagram of Haumea, the ring, and orbits of its two moons

Haumea's moons are unusual in a number of ways. They are thought to be part of its extended collisional family, which formed billions of years ago from icy debris after a large impact disrupted Haumea's ice mantle. Hiʻiaka, the larger, outermost moon, has large amounts of pure water ice on its surface, which is rare among Kuiper belt objects.[1] Namaka, about one tenth the mass, has an orbit with surprising dynamics: it is unusually eccentric and appears to be greatly influenced by the larger satellite.


Share this article:

This article uses material from the Wikipedia article Moons of Haumea, and is written by contributors. Text is available under a CC BY-SA 4.0 International License; additional terms may apply. Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.