"TNOs are cool": A survey of the trans-Neptunian region II. The thermal lightcurve of (136108) Haumea

E. Lellouch, C. Kiss, P. Santos-Sanz, T. G. Müller, S. Fornasier, O. Groussin, P. Lacerda, J. L. Ortiz, A. Thirouin, A. Delsanti, R. Duffard, A. W. Harris, F. Henry, T. Lim, R. Moreno, M. Mommert, M. Mueller, S. Protopapa, J. Stansberry, D. TrillingE. Vilenius, A. Barucci, J. Crovisier, A. Doressoundiram, E. Dotto, P. J. Gutiérrez, O. Hainaut, P. Hartogh, D. Hestroffer, J. Horner, L. Jorda, M. Kidger, L. Lara, M. Rengel, B. Swinyard, N. Thomas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


Thermal emission from Kuiper belt object (136108) Haumea was measured with Herschel-PACS at 100 μm and 160 μm for almost a full rotation period. Observations clearly indicate a 100 μm thermal lightcurve with an amplitude of a factor of ∼2, which is positively correlated with the optical lightcurve. This confirms that both are primarily due to shape effects. A 160 μm lightcurve is marginally detected. Radiometric fits of the mean Herschel-and Spitzer-fluxes indicate an equivalent diameter D ∼ 1300 km and a geometric albedo pv ∼ 0.70-0.75. These values agree with inferences from the optical lightcurve, supporting the hydrostatic equilibrium hypothesis. The large amplitude of the 100 μm lightcurve suggests that the object has a high projected a/b axis ratio (∼1.3) and a low thermal inertia as well as possible variable infrared beaming. This may point to fine regolith on the surface, with a lunar-type photometric behavior. The quality of the thermal data is not sufficient to clearly detect the effects of a surface dark spot.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberL147
JournalAstronomy and Astrophysics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 16 2010


  • Kuiper belt objects: individual: (136108) Haumea
  • Techniques: photometric

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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