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is the smaller, inner moon of the dwarf planet
A dwarf planet, as defined by the International Astronomical Union , is a celestial body orbiting the Sun that is massive enough to be spherical as a result of its own gravity but has not cleared its neighboring region of planetesimals and is not a satellite...
Haumea. It is named after Nāmaka
In Hawaiian mythology, Nāmaka appears as a sea goddess or a water spirit in the Pele cycle. She is an older sister of Pele-honua-mea. She is the daughter of Ku-waha-ilo and Haumea, whose other children are Pele, the Hiiaka sisters, the Kama brothers, and the bird Halulu...
, one of the daughters of Haumea, the goddess of the sea in Hawaiian mythology
Hawaiian mythology refers to the legends, historical tales and sayings of the ancient Hawaiian people. It is considered a variant of a more general Polynesian mythology, developing its own unique character for several centuries before about 1800. It is associated with the Hawaiian religion...
Namaka was discovered on 30 June 2005 and announced on November 29, 2005. It was nicknamed "Blitzen" by the discovery team before receiving an official name.
Namaka is only 1.5% as bright as its dwarf planet Haumea and is about 0.05% its mass. If it turns out to have a similar albedo
Albedo , or reflection coefficient, is the diffuse reflectivity or reflecting power of a surface. It is defined as the ratio of reflected radiation from the surface to incident radiation upon it...
, it would be about 170 km in diameter. Photometric observations indicate that its surface is made of water ice.
- Moons of Haumea
The outer Solar System dwarf planet Haumea has two known moons, Hiiaka and Namaka, named after Hawaiian goddesses. These small moons were discovered in 2005, from observations of Haumea made at the large telescopes of the W. M. Keck Observatory in Hawaii....