Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Astro-mythological news: Wikipedia News reports that on Sept. 17, '08 the International Astronomical Union agreed to name an object one-third the mass of Pluto in the Kuiper Belt Haumea. Haumea is now the fifth recognized dwarf planet in the Solar System, after Pluto Ceres, Eris, and Makemake.

Haumea is the Hawaiian Goddess of childbirth and fertility. Her children include Volcano Goddess Pele, Hi'iaka, and Nāmaka, and some dozen to 40 others. The dwarf planet Haumea has two moons which have thus been named Hi'iaka and Nāmaka.

Haumea has a 4 hour day, very fast for her size, which is believed to make her an oblate ellipsoid as wide as Pluto at her widest, but only half that through the poles. So she is a pregnant icon of fertility. I am very pleased that Hawaiian deities are cropping up in the sky.

[Below: Artist's rendering.]

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