Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Ataecina, the unofficial name of 2003 EL61 [Haumea]

Ataecina (the name proposed for 2003 EL61 [Haumea] by the Spanish team) was a popular goddess worshipped by the ancient Iberians, Lusitanians, and Celtiberians of the Iberian Peninsula.

It was associated to the goat and the cypress (a tree usually plant in cemeteries, because of its vertical grow of roots and branches). Both are symbols related with collective interaction and free of collective interaction, respectively. That made it a very appropriated name for a resonant Kuiper belt object (actual classification of Haumea by the Minor Planet Center).