Quaoar

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Hubble Space Telescope image of Quaoar. Sixteen exposures for this blurry blob.
An artist's conception (which means "guess") of what Quaoar might look like.
The divine comedy
Creationism
Icon creationism.svg
Running gags
Jokes aside
Blooper reel

50000 Quaoar ("Kwawar") is a dwarf planetWikipedia's W.svg[1] found in the Kuiper Belt at approximately 1.6 billion kilometers (roughly equivalent to 1 billion miles, or 42 astronomical units (AU)) away.

The term Quaoar comes from a character in a Native American creation story, and Weywot (the name of its apparent moon) is derived from Quaoar's son's name.

Quaoar is about 1250 kilometers in diameter, approximately the size of Pluto's "moon"[2] Charon. And before you ask — no, it's not a planet, either.[3]

The science[edit]

Astronomy[edit]

Quaoar was discovered by Chad Trujillo and Michael E. Brown, using a 48-inch wide telescope at Palomar Observatory at the California Institute of Technology. Using the Hubble Space TelescopeWikipedia's W.svg to measure its width and diameter, it was found to be around 800 miles in diameter.

It takes around 288 Earth years to complete one "Quaoarian" orbit, and it is composed primarily of various volatile elements and rocks.[4] It also apparently has a moon, named Weywot (about 40 km across).

The woo[edit]

Creationism[edit]

Quaoar was already named after a Native American creation god, yet as usual, the creationists are trying to give their own god all the credit.

John Hartnett in the Journal of Creation claims that the composition of Quaoar's surface, being water and ammonia, is "clear evidence" in favor of a young solar system, and likewise against a 5-billion-year timescale, as the smooth ice surface "would have worn away" in just a few million years.[5] Jonathan Sarfati has also taken the time to reassure us that Quaoar, like the comets, was created on the fourth day.[6]

In reality, the surface, just like that of Pluto, is thought to refresh itself through cryovolcanism.[7]

Astrology[edit]

Ian Musgrave on The Panda's Thumb has also suggested how to do horoscopes involving Quaoar and the constellation Ophiuchus.[8] Astrologers have yet to take up his helpful suggestion.

References[edit]

  1. Or maybe not. It's currently classified as a Trans-Neptunian Object, or TNO, and it is one of the potential dwarf planets out there.
  2. There's a debate over whether Charon is a moon or not.
  3. http://www.chadtrujillo.com/quaoar/
  4. http://www.space.com/25817-quaoar.html
  5. http://creation.mobi/article/5481
  6. http://creation.com/cometsportents-of-doom-or-indicators-of-youth
  7. http://www2.ess.ucla.edu/~jewitt/quaoar.html
  8. http://pandasthumb.org/archives/2011/01/a-horoscope-id.html