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Moons of Haumea facts for kids

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Haumea and the two moons

The dwarf planet Haumea has two known moons, Hi'iaka and Namaka. They are named after the daughters of the Hawaiian goddess of fertility and childbirth, Haumea. Hi'iaka was the goddess of dance, and Namaka was the goddess of water and the sea. The two moons were discovered in 2005 by the telescopes at the W. M. Keck Observatory in Hawaii.

The moons were formed billions of years ago after something crashed into Haumea and broke apart its layer of ice. Hi'iaka, which is about 350 km in diameter, is the largest and outermost moon, has large amounts of ice on its surface. Namaka, which is only one tenth the size, has a strange orbit, affected by the larger moon.

Hi'iaka was discovered on the 26 January, 2005, and was first nicknamed "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer". Namaka was discovered on 30 June, 2005, and was given the nickname "Blitzen the Reindeer." They were given their official names by the International Astronomical Union on 17 September, 2008.

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