Rings Are A Lot More Common In The Solar System Than We Thought

When one thinks of rings in space, the mind goes immediately to Saturn and its remarkable ring structure. Jupiter, Uranus, and Neptune also have rings, so astronomers thought they were a characteristic of very large planets. But more recent discoveries put that into question. Small bodies have rings too, and now researchers know how they maintain them.

Asteroid Chariklo and dwarf planet Haumea both have rings despite lacking certain characteristics that were thought to make rings stable, such as little shepherd moons to balance out gravitational forces. As reported in Nature Astronomy, it is the odd shape of these two objects that makes them keep their rings. The irregularities of Chariklo and the unusual flatness of Haumea prevent the rings from dispersing.

“Rings appear around Saturn, Jupiter, Neptune, and Uranus, but scientists found rings around Chariklo and Haumea within the last few years. Chariklo and Haumea were the first small objects known to have rings, and we think that rings throughout the Solar System are more common than we thought,” co-author Dr Maryame El Moutamid, from the Cornell Center for Astrophysics and Planetary Science, said in a statement. “In the case of small bodies Chariklo and Haumea, gravity shepherds the rings. The rings are confined by the gravity because of the shape irregularity of their bodies.”

Chariklo is a rocky, oddly shaped object and a member of the centaur minor planets. If it was a sphere it would have a diameter of 252 kilometers (156 miles), but its dimensions vary between 200 and 300 kilometers (124-188 miles). Researchers also suspect the presence of a large mountain could be altering the gravitational field produced by the object.

Recommended For You

Viral Reach Agency 125 Yearly

Once you get the Viral Reach Agency version you can sell Viral Reach access to others and charge yours for it.This is an entire business wrapped and readied for you. Make use of this opportunity and create an all new passive income stream for yourself.

WPMasterControlPROV2

PC Software automatically backs up, updates, sets up security and clears default WordPress content on multiple sites at once. Setup takes less than 60 seconds.

Haumea, named after the Hawaiian goddess of fertility and childbirth, is an extremely elongated and fast-spinning object. It rotates on itself every four hours and this factor plays a role in its odd ellipsoidal shape. One of its axes is twice as long as the other.

These peculiarities appear to be key to the stability of the rings. Chariklo even has two. Given that more regular shapes are a prerogative of the most massive objects in the Solar System, there could be many ringed bodies orbiting the Sun. Astronomers have suspected that Chiron, another centaur, has rings as well, and this work gives theoretical backing to that idea.

Original Article : HERE ; This post was curated & posted using : RealSpecific

Thank you for taking the time to read our article.

If you enjoyed our content, we'd really appreciate some "love" with a share or two.

And ... Don't forget to have fun!

Recommended Products

LaunchShark Volume 1 Second Chance

Build 6 Figure Sales Funnels... Even If Optimizepress Makes You Curse Out Loud... I design for 6 figure product launchers... now I want to give YOU the same pages I built for them!

IPL Gold - Lite DS

Instant Product Lab - The Newbie-Friendly, Cloud Based Software That Creates High-Quality Info Products You Can Sell In Just 60 Seconds

Comments are closed.