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Astronomy with a helping of physics and a pinch of the other sciences.


First Ring System Around Asteroid

Observations at many sites in South America, including ESO’s La Silla Observatory, have made the surprise discovery that the remote asteroid Chariklo is surrounded by two dense and narrow rings. This is the smallest object by far found to have rings and only the fifth body in the Solar System — after the much larger planets Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune — to have this feature. The origin of these rings remains a mystery, but they may be the result of a collision that created a disc of debris. The new results are published online in the journal Nature on 26 March 2014.

Continue reading via ESO

Images: Artist’s impression of the rings around Chariklo. Credit: ESO/L. Calçada/M. Kornmesser/Nick Risinger.

— 6 months ago with 413 notes
#ESO  #asteroid  #Chariklo  #solar system  #so uuuh this is pretty cool 
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