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It is one of the strangest objects in the solar system. What is Haumea?

We are dealing with a dwarf planet, like Pluto, considered a full-sized planet until 2006. However, scientific knowledge of Pluto is much more extensive than that of Haumea. Earth-based telescopes do not have an easy task when it comes to measurements, which is obviously a result of the great distance between our planet and Haumea.

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what we know The shape of this object resembles a deformed ball. Haumea spins faster than anything its size, making a full rotation on its axis in just four hours. It also has two moons and a system of … rings. They may not be as glamorous as those around Saturn, but they do exist. The described dwarf planet is almost completely covered in ice, so evidence related to the presence of life, for example, must be preserved. While the chances of this are practically nil in the current conditions, it cannot be ruled out that it was otherwise in the past. Even if Haumea never contained life, it may harbor evidence of its appearance on Earth.

Haumea is a dwarf planet discovered in 2003

The similarity of several icy objects that make up the Kuiper belt is also intriguing. Their nearly identical orbits suggest they must have formed around the same time, so scientists are trying to explain how this happened. To do this, they use models that use Haumea’s calculated size, mass and rotation speed. In the course of their research, they calculated the object’s angular momentum over the years, assuming it remained constant.

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The most likely scenario is for Haumea – still in the process of formation – to collide with another object. The debris produced then, however, is not what constitutes the “family” there today. This will occur much later when the dense rocky structure of the dwarf planet settles into the center and becomes its core. Lighter ice, on the other hand, was deposited at the edges. As a result, some of Haumea’s mass was ejected, and these fragments formed the rest of the objects currently observed in the area. Interestingly, the simulations show that at some point in its existence – for about 250 million years – Haumea was able to retain an ocean of liquid water on its surface.

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