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Haumea of the Outer Solar System

One of the strangest objects in the outer Solar System has recently been found to have a ring. The object, named Haumea, is the fifth designated dwarf planet after Pluto, Ceres, Eris, and Makemake. Haumea's oblong shape makes it quite unusual. Along one direction, Haumea is significantly longer than Pluto, while in another direction Haumea has an extent very similar to Pluto, while in the third direction is much smaller. Haumea's orbit sometimes brings it closer to the Sun than Pluto, but usually Haumea is further away. Illustrated above, an artist visualizes Haumea as a cratered ellipsoid surrounded by a uniform ring. Originally discovered in 2003 and given the temporary designation of 2003 EL61, Haumea was renamed in 2008 by the IAU. Besides the ring discovered this year, Haumea has two small moons discovered in 2005, named Hi'iaka and Namaka.

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Random Pick

Is the sun getting brighter?

Through internal nuclear reactions, hydrogen atoms inside the Sun are converted into helium atoms all the time. Over time, this causes a change in the composition of the core, causing the Sun to grow brighter.

This is not something we would notice from day to day. The sun grows brighter each day, but the rate is very slow. So we wouldn't notice it.

But this raises a problem if the Earth is 3.8 billion years old. The Sun would have been 25% dimmer then. And the Earth would simply not receive enough energy to sustain life, at the time when life is supposed to have appeared on Earth.

Sources:

 Lawrence, Debbie, and Richard Lawrence. Our Universe. Petersburg, KY: Answers in Genesis, 2008. Print.

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