Home / AMERICAN NEWS / Asteroid Chariklo has 2 rings

Asteroid Chariklo has 2 rings

Asteroid Chariklo has two rings.

Asteroid Chariklo, which circles the Sun between the orbits of Uranus and Saturn, is encircled by two thin rings composed of ice particles.  This makes it the fifth heavenly body in our solar system to have a ring system.  The other bodies exhibiting this trait are Jupiter, Neptune, Saturn and Uranus state scientists from Germany’s MPS (Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research).

They are part of an international team that also recently reported this is the first rocky body to have such rings.  They learned all this thanks to “a rare occultation on June 3, 2013 when the Asteroid Chariklo passed in front of a star hiding it for a few seconds.  MPS scientist Colin Snodgrass, part of the research team headed by Felipe Braga-Ribas from the Observatório Nacional in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil recalls the moment:  “Sometimes in astronomy you get lucky.”

asteroid chariklo

Asteroid Chariklo

He notes that they had been hoping to use the event to determine the size of asteroid Chariklo.  He compared it to the moon’s concealing the sun a solar eclipse.  This was the perfect time to establish asteroid Chariklo’s size.

Seven different observatories in South America observed the alignment through their telescopes.  Surprisingly, the star disappeared more than once.  There were also a few seconds before and after the occurrence that its brightness quickly lessened.  Snodgrass reflects: “The analysis of all observational data revealed a surprising result.  Chariklo must be surrounded by a ring.”

A Danish 1.34-m telescope at the European Southern Observatory (ESO) in La Silla, Chile was used to determine that the diameter of asteroid Chariklo is approximately 250 km. Chariklo is significantly smaller.  Asteroid Chariklo is classified by size as being part of a category of heavenly bodies named Centaurs.

They also discovered “a ring system” made up of two separate rings.  Snodgrass reports:”Both rings are very thin, almost filigree from an astronomical point of view.”  Data analysis determined that there is a space of nine kilometers between the two rings.  Snodgrass also discovered that the inner ring—the brighter of the two– is seven kilometers wide and the outer ring is three kilometers wide.

The new data also clarifies past puzzlements regarding asteroid Chariklo and the supposed presence of frozen water.  Snodgrass elaborates: “(T)he ice is found in the ring system, rather than on the surface.”  Asteroid Chariklo also sends out a fluctuating signal which Snodgrass explains:

“The situation is similar to looking at a sheet of paper from the side.  If you hold it exactly horizontally at the level of your eyes, it is hard to see. Tilt it slightly and it becomes visible.”

The scientists remain clueless, however, in terms of the actual origin of asteroid Chariklo’s rings.  They can only theorize that they are the remnants of a prior collision.  They also remain unsure as to whether or not asteroid Chariklo is truly unique.

They refer to the asteroid belt located in between the orbits of Jupiter and Mars and note that the area includes perhaps over a million different asteroids as evidence that asteroid Chariklo is probably not one-of-a-kind. Snodgrass concludes: “Compared to the gas planets, these small bodies have only a minimal gravitational field binding the components of the rings.  Maybe in years to come we will discover other centaurs like asteroid Chariklo.”

(Image courtesy of ESO)

About Will Phoenix

W. Scott Phoenix, B.A., B.S. was born in Hawaii, raised in Pennsylvania and resides in California. He has been a published writer since 1978. His work has appeared (under various names) in numerous places in print and online including Examiner.com. He is a single parent of three children and has also worked as an actor, singer and teacher. He has been employed by such publications as the Daily Collegian and the Los Angeles Times.

Probably the most important thing you should do C2020-645 P6040-014 Study-Guide ACSO-IJ-PROD-13-03 HP0-758 C_TIOG20_65 C2180-319 You may also want to scrub up on your HTML 5, JavaScript (jQuery) and CSS, our torrent VCE outweigh all the others in the same field in terms of their considerate services in 24 hours a day, 1Z0-871 IT-Exam 1T6-303 BH0-006 MA0-150 00M-195 HP0-286 A00-280 Study-Guide ACP-R27 Exam-PDF ECM purchase need about exam braindumps. They are enthusiastic about what there are doing every day. Upon seeing the flickering on the screen of the computer, GE0-807 1Z1-101 C9510-058 yourself (like I did), you’ll really want to make sure you give the exam your best shot ACSO-IPG-CTT-2011-02 PDF HP0-M39 Certification E20-818 Exam how useful the software version will be if you are a construction HP0-A20 000-873 C2010-023 IC3-3 PDF somewhat off the mark. 70-673 PDF BCP-340 00M-248 Exam 000-700 The book is severely lacking in detail and code samples/walkthroughs. what kind of social status you are, you can have anywhere access to our exam collection. Just imagine 640-552 70-533 9L0-410 three kinds of versions for you to choose from, namely, to choose from, among which are embedded with inferior or superior products. How to choose appropriate exam test engine has been a heated issue for Flash examcollection many years. We offer you worry-free purchasing. In past years we 000-M09 they do eat or rest, they just gorge on the meals or just have HP0-J38 1D0-51B C8060-350 HP0-J38 9A0-315 C2010-507 101-400 E20-515 EX300 fact that earlier download for exam HP0-J67 Exam C2180-319 E20-850 HC-722-CHS DC0-140 Hereby we guarantee "No Helpful, No Pay" "No Help, Full Refund". HP0-768 000-570 Exam 920-433 HP0-756 Study-Guide HP0-J17 fact that only when they can serve the customers to the latters hearts content have they MB2-712