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Haumea was first discovered in 2004. It was accepted as one of our dwarf planets by the International Astronomical Union in 2008. Before being officially named, it was called Santa by one of its discovery teams because they first noticed it on December 28th.
Haumea is named after the Hawaiian goddess of childbirth. The two moons in orbit around Haumea were named after two of the children of Haumea. Hi'iaka is the larger moon, while the smaller moon was named Namaka. It is believed that these moons formed as a result of a collision between Haumea and some other body.
Haumea is shaped like a plump cigar. It spins very rapidly as it orbits around the Sun. It takes 285 Earth years for Haumea to make one trip around the Sun.
This dwarf planet has a mass less than half that of Pluto. It is believed to be solid rock covered in an icy crust.
How did Haumea's moons form?
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