Friday, May 13, 2011

The weirdest little planet

Our solar system has five named dwarf planets: Pluto (unfairly classified), Eris, Ceres, Makemake, and Haumea. Haumea is not the most famous, but it's the strangest. It's elliptical, not round. It has its own moons. It's covered in ice with an odd red spot on it. And it's warmer than it has any right to be. The theory is it has subsurface radioactive elements (uranium-238, thorium-232 and potassium-40), to keep it "warm." It's a reminder that nature is stranger than fiction. I wonder if there's a cult theory that it's really a giant spaceship... of maybe I should start one just for fun.

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