Saturday, September 20, 2008

Fifth Dwarf Planet Named & Cuba Gets a Space Center

International Astronomical Union (IAU) News published via AP and by was that the International Astronomical Union in Paris has named the fifth Dwarf Planet in our solar system. Once known as 2003 EL61, it is now named after the Hawaiian goddess Haumea, it joins former planet Pluto, Ceres, Eris, and Makemake as the newly classified category of dwarf planets. The elongated egg shaped world was first discovered back in 2005. It is thought that Haumea is composed almost entirely of rock with a pure ice crust. It has 32 percent of the mass, but is the same diameter of Pluto . The dwarf planet has a rotation of four hours which experts think help to create its odd football shape. Haumea, also has two small moons orbiting it, named Hi'iaka and Namaka. According to Hawaiian mythos, the two children (Hi'iaka and Namaka) were born to the goddess Haumea.

In other space news, Russia will help Cuba build it's own space center. This is seen as a counter to the perceived encroachment of the United States and the western allies of NATO, into the Ukraine and Georgia region of the former Soviet Union.

(News Articles from and AP (Sept 19, 2008).)
(Edited on 09/23/2008)

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