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Old 10-12-2017, 08:10 AM   #1
Nicholas Kang
Spaceflight News Reporter
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Default Ring Discovered Around Dwarf Planet Haumea

Scientists have discovered a ring system around the dwarf planet Haumea.

Earlier this year, Haumea passed between Earth and a distant star, allowing planetary scientists to get a better idea of the dwarf planet's shape and size. The new findings were announced today (Oct. 11) in the journal Nature.
The night Haumea crossed in front of the distant star, Santos Sanz and team leader José Luis Ortiz, also of the Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía, looked at the new data.

"We started to see something weird in the light curve," Santos Sanz said. The light dimmed just before and after Haumea passed in front of the star, as if something else were obscuring it. "I remember that José Luis, from the first [moments], said, 'OK, this could be a ring,'" Santos Sanz said. Months of scrutiny bore out the scientists' initial suspicions: The results suggest that Haumea's equator is encircled by a 43-mile-wide (70 km) ring of debris located about 620 miles (1,000 km) from the dwarf planet's surface.

"Rings are usually the sign of a collision that happened not too long ago," Yale astronomer David Rabinowitz, who is unaffiliated with the study, told Space.com. For Rabinowitz, this means sometime between several hundred-million years ago and one billion years ago. The search for the rings' origin makes the system that much more interesting, he added. It's another mystery about the dwarf planet begging for an answer.

Link to Nature Article

Source: Space.com
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Old 10-12-2017, 01:17 PM   #2
shoemaker without legs
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Very nice, another thing we thought we'd never see
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