Haumea's Internal Evolution

Thumbnail picture credit to NASA/JPL/GSFC.
The dwarf planet Haumea orbits the Sun in the Kuiper Belt at 43 AU. All three of its axes are different lengths; its approximate dimensions are 1050 km by 840 km by 530 km, making it a shape called a triaxial ellipsoid. Haumea is also the fastest-rotating large body in the Solar System with a 3.91 hour rotation period. What makes Haumea especially cool is that its surface is >90% pure water ice with some evidence of unspecified organic material. Haumea is also the largest member of the Haumean dynamical family, a group of a dozen water-rich objects whose orbital parameters are similar to Haumea's. It is the only known dynamical family in the Kuiper Belt.

The combination of short rotational period, elongated shape, water-rich surface, and dynamical family leads to a lot of questions on how Haumea formed and evolved over time. My work focuses on how its internal geophysical and geochemical evolution (e.g., differentiation) has affected its rotational period over time and how those changes could have led to the genesis of the Haumean Family. I am also investigating whether or not Haumea could have once been an ocean world, perhaps the most distant one known!
These are graphs that show how various parameters of Haumea change as a function of mantle density


On the Origins of Haumea's Collisional Family

Steven Desch, Jessica Noviello, Emilie Dunham, Darin Ragozzine

EPSC-DPS Joint Meeting 2019, 2019 Sep, EPSC-DPS2019-2041

Haumea's Formation and Evolution from a Graze-and-Merge Impact

J. L. Noviello, S. J. Desch, M. Neveu

Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, 2020 Mar, p. 2894