A Caltech Library Service

The Size and Shape of the Oblong Dwarf Planet Haumea

Lockwood, Alexandra C. and Brown, Michael E. and Stansberry, John (2014) The Size and Shape of the Oblong Dwarf Planet Haumea. Earth, Moon, and Planets, 111 (3-4). pp. 127-137. ISSN 0167-9295. doi:10.1007/s11038-014-9430-1.

PDF - Submitted Version
See Usage Policy.


Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


We use thermal radiometry and visible photometry to constrain the size, shape, and albedo of the large Kuiper belt object Haumea. The correlation between the visible and thermal photometry demonstrates that Haumea’s high amplitude and quickly varying optical light curve is indeed due to Haumea’s extreme shape, rather than large scale albedo variations. However, the well-sampled high precision visible data we present does require longitudinal surface heterogeneity to account for the shape of lightcurve. The thermal emission from Haumea is consistent with the expected Jacobi ellipsoid shape of a rapidly rotating body in hydrostatic equilibrium. The best Jacobi ellipsoid fit to the visible photometry implies a triaxial ellipsoid with axes of length 1,920 × 1,540 × 990 km and density 2.6 g cm ^(−3) , as found by Lellouch et al. (A&A, 518:L147, 2010. doi:10.1051/0004-6361/201014648). While the thermal and visible data cannot uniquely constrain the full non-spherical shape of Haumea, the match between the predicted and measured thermal flux for a dense Jacobi ellipsoid suggests that Haumea is indeed one of the densest objects in the Kuiper belt.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper DOIArticle ReadCube access
Brown, Michael E.0000-0002-8255-0545
Additional Information:© 2014 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht. Received: 4 November 2013; Accepted: 19 February 2014; Published online: 2 March 2014.
Subject Keywords:Haumea; Kuiper belt object characterization; Hubble space telescope; Spitzer space telescope
Issue or Number:3-4
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20140610-130156235
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Lockwood, A.C., Brown, M.E. & Stansberry, J. Earth Moon Planets (2014) 111: 127. doi:10.1007/s11038-014-9430-1
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:46180
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:10 Jun 2014 20:32
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 17:22

Repository Staff Only: item control page