“Charkilo”: First-ever miniature planet with rings discovered

Astronomers from Niels Bohr Institute have discovered a miniature planet “Charkilo” with two rings of ice and pebbles between Saturn and Uranus in the Kuiper Belt.

Miniature planet “Charkilo”       

  • A Giant asteroid i.e. a celestial body known as a Centaur or Minor Planet.
  • Located between Saturn and Uranus.
  • Originated in the Kuiper belt.
  • Diameter: 250 km.
  • Centers of the two rings are 14 km and the gap between them is 9 Km.
  • Have two rings of ice particles and pebbles.

The Rings of the celestial body are not more than few hundred meters thick and are only three and seven km wide. Kuiper Belt is a collection of thousands of dwarf planets and comets in orbit beyond Neptune on the edge of our solar system.

What is special about this discovery of “Charkilo”?

Till now, rings have only been observed around giant planets viz. Jupiter, Uranus, Neptune and especially Saturn. This is the first time that such a small celestial body (miniature planet “Charkilo” ) with rings has been observed.

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Categories: Science and Technology Current Affairs - 2017

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  • Kunzang Bodh
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