Huya and its satellite, imaged by the Hubble Space Telescope on 6 May 2012
|Discovered by||I. R. Ferrin|
|Discovery site||Llano del Hato Obs.|
|Discovery date||10 March 2000|
|MPC designation||(38628) Huya|
(South American mythology)
|TNO  · plutino |
Kozai res. · distant 
|Orbital characteristics |
|Epoch 4 September 2017 (JD 2458000.5)|
|Uncertainty parameter 2|
|Observation arc||20.24 yr (7,391 days)|
|Earliest precovery date||9 April 1996|
|251.03 yr (91,690 days)|
|0° 0m 14.04s / day|
|5.28 h (fragmentary)|
|0.083 ± 0.004|
|B−V=0.95 ± 0.05|
V−R=0.57 ± 0.09
|5.04 ± 0.03|
5.37 ± 0.04
|0.020″ (max)[note 1]|
Discovered by Ignacio Ferrín in March 2000, it was named after the rain god Huya from South American mythology. Huya is a plutino, being in a 2:3 mean-motion resonance with Neptune. It has a diameter of approximately 400 kilometers. Light-curve-amplitude analysis shows only small deviations, suggesting that Huya is likely a spheroid with small albedo spots. As of 2010, astronomer Gonzalo Tancredi thought that Huya was very probably a dwarf planet. However, dark bodies with low densities such as Huya are unlikely to have ever compressed into fully solid bodies.
Huya was discovered on 10 March 2000, by Venezuelan astronomer Ignacio Ferrín at the Llano del Hato National Astronomical Observatory in Mérida, Venezuela. 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.
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. The official naming citation was published by the Minor Planet Center on 1 May 2003 (M.P.C. 48397).
The Spitzer Space Telescope has estimated Huya to be about 530 kilometres (330 mi) in diameter with a low albedo of around 0.05. The later termination, based on a combination of Spitzer and Herschel measurements, yielded a smaller size of 458.7±9.2 km. Taking into account that Huya is a binary the diameter of the primary is estimated at 406±16 km.
Huya has a moderately red-sloped reflectance spectrum in the visible and near-infrared, suggesting a surface rich in organic material such as tholins. 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.
Orbit and rotation
Huya is currently 28.5 AU from the Sun and it came to perihelion in December 2014. 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. 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. Plutinos (15875) 1996 TP66 and (120216) 2004 EW95 get even closer to the Sun.
Huya has been observed 131 times, with precovery images back to 1996. The rotation period of Huya is unknown: although a value of 13.50 hours has been tentatively obtained from fragmentary lightcurve, it may well be completely erroneous.
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 and a separation of 1,800 kilometres (1,100 mi) from primary. Its provisional designation is S/2012 38628 Huya 1.
- Angular size at May 2015 opposition: arctan (406 km in diameter / (27.5543 AU * 149597870.7 km)) = 0.020″
- "JPL Small-Body Database Browser: 38628 Huya (2000 EB173)" (2016-07-04 last obs.). Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Retrieved 28 September 2017.
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- 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.
- "MPC/MPO/MPS Archive". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 28 September 2017.
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- 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.
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- MPEC 2009-C70 Distant Minor Planets (2009 FEB. 28.0 TT), Minor Planet Center
- 37th DPS: Albedos, Diameters (and a Density) of Kuiper Belt and Centaur Objects
- Planet 10? Tiny 'Plutino' Almost Qualifies
- Discovery of a bright Trans-Neptunian Object (Yale)
- From the Rain Forest to Planet Huya
- 38628 Huya at the JPL Small-Body Database