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New dwarf planet named for Hawaiian goddess

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Associated Press
Published:
HONOLULU -- A newly discovered dwarf planet in the solar system has been given a Hawaiian name: Haumea (how-MAY'-ah), after the Hawaiian goddess of earth and fertility.
Haumea's name was approved Wednesday by the International Astronomical Union in Paris.
It is the solar system's fifth dwarf planet, in the same category and region as Pluto.
Haumea is shaped like an elongated egg. Astronomers think its shape comes from its rapid rotation, which could have been caused by a collision with another object billions of years ago.
Haumea was discovered in 2005.
The other dwarf planets include Ceres, Pluto, Eris and Makemake.
Story tags » Astronomy

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