38628 Huya

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38628 Huya
Huya Hubble.png
Huya and its satellite, imaged by the Hubble Space Telescope on 6 May 2012
Discovery [1]
Discovered byI. R. Ferrin
Discovery siteLlano del Hato Obs.
Discovery date10 March 2000
MPC designation(38628) Huya
Pronunciation/hˈjɑː/ hoo-YAH
Named after
(South American mythology)
2000 EB173
TNO[1] · plutino[3]
Kozai res. · distant[4]
Orbital characteristics[1][3]
Epoch 4 September 2017 (JD 2458000.5)
Uncertainty parameter 2
Observation arc20.24 yr (7,391 days)
Earliest precovery date9 April 1996
Aphelion51.052 AU
Perihelion28.536 AU
39.794 AU
251.03 yr (91,690 days)
0° 0m 14.04s / day
Known satellites1
Physical characteristics
Mean radius
203±8 km[5]
5.28 h (fragmentary)[6]
0.083 ± 0.004[5]
B−V=0.95 ± 0.05
V−R=0.57 ± 0.09[7]
19.3 (opposition)[8]
5.04 ± 0.03[5]
5.37 ± 0.04[9]
0.020″ (max)[note 1]

38628 Huya (/hˈjɑː/ hoo-YAH), provisional designation 2000 EB173, is a trans-Neptunian object and binary system from the Kuiper belt in the outermost region of the Solar System.

Discovered by Ignacio Ferrín in March 2000, it was named after the rain god Huya from South American mythology.[2][4] Huya is a plutino, being in a 2:3 mean-motion resonance with Neptune.[3] It has a diameter of approximately 400 kilometers.[5] Light-curve-amplitude analysis shows only small deviations, suggesting that Huya is likely a spheroid with small albedo spots.[10] As of 2010, astronomer Gonzalo Tancredi thought that Huya was very probably a dwarf planet.[11] However, dark bodies with low densities such as Huya are unlikely to have ever compressed into fully solid bodies.[12]



Huya was discovered on 10 March 2000, by Venezuelan astronomer Ignacio Ferrín at the Llano del Hato National Astronomical Observatory in Mérida, Venezuela.[4] The discovery was announced on 24 October 2000. At the time, it was the brightest (and hence estimated to be the biggest) trans-Neptunian object found since Pluto.[13]


This minor planet was named after Huya (Juyá), the rain god of the Wayuu people of Venezuela and Colombia. The deity lives in the celestial altitudes beyond the Sun and is also associated with winter.[2] The official naming citation was published by the Minor Planet Center on 1 May 2003 (M.P.C. 48397).[14]

Physical characteristics[edit]

The Spitzer Space Telescope has estimated Huya to be about 530 kilometres (330 mi) in diameter with a low albedo of around 0.05.[15] The later termination, based on a combination of Spitzer and Herschel measurements, yielded a smaller size of 458.7±9.2 km.[5] Taking into account that Huya is a binary the diameter of the primary is estimated at 406±16 km.[5]

Huya has a moderately red-sloped reflectance spectrum in the visible and near-infrared, suggesting a surface rich in organic material such as tholins.[16] There is a broad absorption feature near 2 μm possibly belonging to water ice or some water-altered material. Additional absorption features may be present near 0.6–0.8 μm, which may be caused by aqueously-altered anhydrous silicates.[17]

Orbit and rotation[edit]

Plot of the distance to the Sun for Neptune, Pluto and Huya over a thousand-year period

Huya is currently 28.5 AU from the Sun[8] and it came to perihelion in December 2014.[1] This means that it is currently inside the orbit of the planet Neptune. Like Pluto, this plutino spends part of its orbit closer to the Sun than Neptune, even though their orbits are controlled by Neptune. Huya will be closer to the Sun than Neptune until about July 2029.[18] Simulations by the Deep Ecliptic Survey (DES) show that, over the next 10 million years, Huya can acquire a perihelion distance (qmin) as small as 27.28 AU.[3] Plutinos (15875) 1996 TP66 and (120216) 2004 EW95 get even closer to the Sun.

Given the long orbit that TNOs have around the Sun, Huya comes to opposition in early May of each year at an apparent magnitude of 19.3.[8]

Huya has been observed 131 times, with precovery images back to 1996.[1] The rotation period of Huya is unknown:[19] although a value of 13.50 hours has been tentatively obtained from fragmentary lightcurve, it may well be completely erroneous.[1]


A satellite, reported in IAU Circular 9253 on 12 July 2012, was discovered by Keith S. Noll, William M. Grundy, Hilke E. Schlichting, Ruth Murray-Clay and Susan D. Benecchi from Hubble Space Telescope observations obtained on 6 May 2012 and confirmed in reexamination of Hubble Space Telescope imagery from 30 June-1 July 2002. It has an estimated diameter of 213±30 km[5] and a separation of 1,800 kilometres (1,100 mi) from primary. Its provisional designation is S/2012 38628 Huya 1.


  1. ^ Angular size at May 2015 opposition: arctan (406 km in diameter / (27.5543 AU * 149597870.7 km)) = 0.020″


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "JPL Small-Body Database Browser: 38628 Huya (2000 EB173)" (2016-07-04 last obs.). Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Retrieved 28 September 2017.
  2. ^ a b c Schmadel, Lutz D. (2006). "(38628) Huya". Dictionary of Minor Planet Names – (38628) Huya, Addendum to Fifth Edition: 2003–2005. Springer Berlin Heidelberg. p. 205. doi:10.1007/978-3-540-34361-5_2420. ISBN 978-3-540-34361-5.
  3. ^ a b c d Buie, M. W. (22 April 2007). "Orbit Fit and Astrometric record for 38628". SwRI (Space Science Department). Retrieved 2008-07-17.
  4. ^ a b c "38628 Huya (2000 EB173)". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 28 September 2017.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g Fornasier, S.; Lellouch, E.; Müller, P., T.; et al. (2013). "TNOs are Cool: A survey of the trans-Neptunian region. VIII. Combined Herschel PACS and SPIRE observations of 9 bright targets at 70–500 µm". Astronomy & Astrophysics. 555: A92. arXiv:1305.0449v2. Bibcode:2013A&A...555A..15F. doi:10.1051/0004-6361/201321329.
  6. ^ "LCDB Data for (38628) Huya". Asteroid Lightcurve Database (LCDB). Retrieved 28 September 2017.
  7. ^ Mommert, M.; et al. (2012). "TNOs are cool: A survey of the trans-Neptunian region V. Physical characterization of 18 Plutinos using Herschel-PACS observations". Astronomy & Astrophysics. 541: A93. arXiv:1202.3657. Bibcode:2012A&A...541A..93M. doi:10.1051/0004-6361/201118562.
  8. ^ a b c "AstDys (38628) Huya Ephemerides". Department of Mathematics, University of Pisa, Italy. Retrieved 2009-03-22.
  9. ^ Doressoundiram, A.; et al. (2007). "The Meudon Multicolor Survey (2MS) of Centaurs and Trans-Neptunian Objects: From Visible to Infrared Colors". The Astronomical Journal. 134 (6): 2186–2199. Bibcode:2007AJ....134.2186D. doi:10.1086/522783.
  10. ^ Tancredi, G.; Favre, S. (2008). "Which are the dwarfs in the Solar System?". Icarus. 195 (2): 851. Bibcode:2008Icar..195..851T. doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2007.12.020.
  11. ^ Tancredi, G. (2009). "Physical and dynamical characteristics of icy "dwarf planets" (plutoids)". Proceedings of the International Astronomical Union. 5: 173–15. Bibcode:2010IAUS..263..173T. doi:10.1017/S1743921310001717.
  12. ^ W.M. Grundy, K.S. Noll, M.W. Buie, S.D. Benecchi, D. Ragozzine & H.G. Roe, 'The Mutual Orbit, Mass, and Density of Transneptunian Binary Gǃkúnǁʼhòmdímà ((229762) 2007 UK126)', Icarus (forthcoming, available online 30 March 2019) DOI: 10.1016/j.icarus.2018.12.037,
  13. ^ Ferrin, Ignacio; Rabinowitz, D.; Schaefer, B.; Snyder, J.; Ellman, N.; Vicente, B.; Rengstorf, A.; Depoy, D.; Salim, S.; Andrews, P. (16 February 2001). "Discovery of the Bright Trans-Neptunian Object 2000 EB173". The Astrophysical Journal Letters. 548 (2). arXiv:astro-ph/0011527. doi:10.1086/319109.
  14. ^ "MPC/MPO/MPS Archive". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 28 September 2017.
  15. ^ Stansberry, J.; et al. (2007). "Physical Properties of Kuiper Belt and Centaur Objects: Constraints from Spitzer Space Telescope". In Barucci, M. A.; et al. (eds.). The Solar System Beyond Neptune. University of Arizona Press. pp. 161–179. arXiv:astro-ph/0702538. Bibcode:2008ssbn.book..161S. ISBN 978-0-8165-2755-7.
  16. ^ Licandro, J.; Oliva, E.; Di Martino, M. (2001). "NICS-TNG infrared spectroscopy of trans-neptunian objects 2000 EB173 and 2000 WR106". Astronomy and Astrophysics. 373 (3): L29–L32. arXiv:astro-ph/0105434. Bibcode:2001A&A...373L..29L. doi:10.1051/0004-6361:20010758.
  17. ^ de Bergh, C.; et al. (2004). "Aqueous altered silicates at the surface of two Plutinos?". Astronomy and Astrophysics. 416 (2): 791–798. Bibcode:2004A&A...416..791D. doi:10.1051/0004-6361:20031727.
  18. ^ "38628 Huya (2000 EB173) ephemeris". JPL Small-Body Database. Jet Propulsion Laboratory. SPK-ID: 2038628. Retrieved 2009-03-23.
  19. ^ Sheppard, S. S.; Lacedra, P.; Ortiz, J. L. (2008). "Photometric Lightcurves of Transneptunian Objects and Centaurs: Rotations, Shapes, and Densities" (PDF). In Barucci, A. M.; et al. (eds.). The Solar System Beyond Neptune. University of Arizona Press. pp. 129–142. ISBN 978-0-8165-2755-7.

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