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It was nicknamed Santa because it was found just prior to Christmas. Haumea was named after goddess of fertility and childbirth in Hawaiian mythology. It rotates once every four hours, because of this its shaped like a squashed rugby football. It may have collided with another larger object a long time ago. If this is so, it may explain why its in an odd shape.

Haumea orbits the Sun once every 285.31 years, averaging 43.34 AU or 6.50 billion kilometres away. Haumea aphelion is 59.73 A.U., preihelion is 43.34 A.U., and semi-major axis is 43.335 AU. Perihelion last occurred in February 1991, with the next perihelion expected sometime in October 2135. Its orbital period is 104.234 days with an average orbital speed at 4.48km per second. It's inclination is 28.19 degree with an longitude of ascending node of 121.90 degrees. Haumea sidereal rotation is 0.1631 hour or 3.912 hours, mean sidereal rotation is 3.9154 hours (2006), max magnitude is 15.8, and min magnitude is 175. Pluto's diameter is similar to Haumea longest axis but her other two axes are shorter; its mass is about 3rd of Pluto's. Unlike Pluto, she only has two moons.

It was discovered in 2005 that Haumea has moons now call Hi'iaka and Namaka. They nicknamed it Rudolph and Blitzen since Haumea was nicknamed Santa. Astronomers think that the moons may have been part of Haumea when she collided with a larger object. Hi'iaka and Namaka are the daughter of Haumea who is believed to be born by springing from part of the body of thier mother. Hi'iaka ( Rudolph ) was named after Hi'iaka who was the goddess of hula dancers. She has a diameter about 310 km, and orbits her mother every 49 days at a distance of 49,500 km. Namaka was a goddess of water spirit. She has a diameter of roughly 170 km and orbits her mother every 34.7 days at a distance of 39,300 km.


http://web.archive.org/20091026132618/homepage.mac.com/andjames/PageHaumea000.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2003_EL61

http://www.windows.ucar.edu/tour/link=/our_solar_system/dwarf_planets/haumea_moons.html

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