“The fifth dwarf planet of the solar system, Haumea, and at least one of its two satellites, are covered in crystalline water-ice due to the tidal forces between them and the heat of radiogenic elements. This is the finding of an international research study using observations from the VLT telescope at the European Southern Observatory in Chile.
The tiny and strange planet Haumea moves beyond the orbit of Neptune. It has the shape of a flattened rugby ball and is around 2,000 km long. It spins completely in less than four hours, at one of the fastest rotation speeds in the solar system. The crystallised water that covers this planet and its two satellites (Hi’iaka and Namaka) makes them shine in the darkness of space.”