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Puzzling Out Chariklo’s Rings

20 Nov 2018, 18:17 UTC
Puzzling Out Chariklo’s Rings ESO/L. Calçada/M. Kornmesser/Nick Risinger (skysurvey.org)

The outer system object called Chariklo doesn’t get into the news all that much, so I’m glad that this morning I have the chance to give it its place in the Sun. 10199 Chariklo is a Centaur, moving between the orbits of Saturn and Uranus. With an estimated diameter of 250 kilometers, it’s the largest Centaur known, and as far as I know, the first one known to have a ring system. Another Centaur, Chiron, is also suspected of having rings, but on the latter, researchers have not ruled out other explanations for the observed feature, like symmetrical jets of gas and dust.

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