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The Dark Red Spot on KBO Haumea

  • Pedro Lacerda (a1) (a2)
Abstract

Kuiper belt object 136108 Haumea is one of the most fascinating bodies in our solar system. Approximately 2000 × 1600 × 1000 km in size, it is one of the largest Kuiper belt objects (KBOs) and an unusually elongated one for its size. The shape of Haumea is the result of rotational deformation due to its extremely short 3.9-hour rotation period. Unlike other 1000 km-scale KBOs which are coated in methane ice the surface of Haumea is covered in almost pure H2O-ice. The bulk density of Haumea, estimated around 2.6 g cm−3, suggests a more rocky interior composition, different from the H2O-ice surface. Recently, Haumea has become the second KBO after Pluto to show observable signs of surface features. A region darker and redder than the average surface of Haumea has been identified, the composition and origin of which remain unknown. I discuss this recent finding and what it may tell us about Haumea.

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References
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Proceedings of the International Astronomical Union
  • ISSN: 1743-9213
  • EISSN: 1743-9221
  • URL: /core/journals/proceedings-of-the-international-astronomical-union
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