Quaoar was discovered on 4th June 2002 by astronomers using the Samuel Oschin Telescope at the Palomar Observatory. Quaoar is 6 billion kilometres (3.7 billion miles) from the Sun and takes 286 years to complete each orbit.

The name Quaoar (pronounced kwaa'·waar or kwah-o-wahr or kwow'·ər) comes from the Native American Tongva people. In Tongva mythology Quaoar was a creation deity who was so sorrowed by the emptiness in existence that he sang and danced the world and other deities into existence.

Quaoar has a diameter of approximately 1250 kilometres, making it roughly one tenth the diameter of Earth and one third the diameter of the Moon. It has an almost circular orbit about 43AU away from the Sun. Each astronomical unit (AU) is a unit of length approximately equal to the distance from the Earth to the Sun. It takes 5 hours for light from the Sun to reach Quaoar.

Its provisional designation in astronomy is 2002 LM60.

Image Credits

Artist's impression of Quaoar based on Image of Mimas PIA08172 courtesy of NASA / JPL / Space Science Institute. sse.jpl.nasa.gov

Image of The Far Side of The Moon PIA00225 courtesy of NASA / JPL-Caltech. www.jpl.nasa.gov

Image of Earth AS17-148-22730 courtesy of Earth Sciences and Image Analysis Laboratory, NASA Johnson Space Center. eol.jsc.nasa.gov

Text Credits

Tongva Mythology en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quaoar (mythology)

Useful Links

Quaoar www.quaoar.co.uk / Hi‘iaka www.hiiaka.co.uk / Namaka www.namaka.co.uk / Bienor www.bienor.co.uk