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IAU Names Fifth Dwarf Planet Haumea 94

Kligat writes "The International Astronomical Union has renamed the dwarf planet Haumea and its two moons Hi'iaka and Namaka, after the Hawaiian fertility goddess, the patron goddess of Hawaii, and a water spirit. The cigar-shaped body is speculated to have resulted from its short rotational period of only four hours. Holding up the reclassification of the body as a dwarf planet was a dispute over its discovery between the groups of José Luis Ortiz Moreno and Michael E. Brown."
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IAU Names Fifth Dwarf Planet Haumea

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  • by RiotingPacifist ( 1228016 ) on Thursday September 18, 2008 @09:41AM (#25053919)

    im waiting for a funny shaped cluster to be named the flying spaghetti monster, ramen

  • by IWannaBeAnAC ( 653701 ) on Thursday September 18, 2008 @09:59AM (#25054159)

    Not really. Moreno had also been looking at the object for a while, they only looked at Brown's observing logs the day before their announcement, to check whether they were actually looking at the same object as Brown. Brown didn't follow the standard procedure for claiming discovery of a minor planet (but had published an abstract signifying their intention to announce the discovery), which left the door open for Moreno to get in first. If Brown had followed procedure, there would have been no problem.

    It was very impolite of Moreno though. The polite action would have been for Moreno to (1) contact Brown directly, rather than googling through his observing logs, and (2) come to a friendly agreement on who gets to claim the discovery. The astronomy community is (or was, until this event) very good natured. That good nature was probably the biggest casualty in all of this. But Moreno's reputation took a hammering too, at least in the popular press.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 18, 2008 @02:46PM (#25059267)
    Some kind of major disturbance, I would guess.

    For comparison, an ideal water balloon is spherical, but when you spin them they tend to become elongated in the same manner as Haumea, rather than like a frisbee.

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