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Dwarf planet has a ring to it
12 October 2017, 09:16 | Charlene Valdez
Today, scientists are reporting the discovery of a vast ring encircling Haumea, a distant dwarf planet that takes some 284 Earth years to orbit the Sun, and it's the first time we've seen a ring in this category of minor planet. The term "dwarf planet" probably brings to mind bodies like Pluto - flawless spheres that only just miss out on true planethood. She also reiterated that we can intercept supplemental ring associated discoveries in the future. The findings of that intense study were announced this week and scientists found something very cool about the dwarf planet, which lives in our solar system in the Kuiper Belt beyond Neptune.
Considering that Neptune is usually about 30 Astronomical Units (UN), Haumea could get close to the Sun. Such an impact created the dwarf planet's two moons, Hiʻiaka and Namaka, and probably a cloud of debris, too. This dwarf planet is a third of the size of Pluto, has a weird, elongated shape, and rotates once every four hours.
Ortiz's team has put together a YouTube visualisation of the rings, below. The dwarf planet #Haumea, with a total distance of 600 miles from pole to pole, was discovered by astronomers in December 2004, Outer Places reported. Haumea is one of the five recognized dwarf planets in the Solar System, and now also the only one to have a ring.
There's more work to be done in constraining all of the specifics of the ring. The new information could cost Haumea its dwarf planet status. "So, we did not have a clear clue that Haumea could have a ring".
Hydrostatic equilibrium is the scientific way of saying that a lump of rock is so big its own gravity has pulled it all in and made it spherical, or at least an ellipsoid. But just know that plenty of objects in our Solar System get much stranger when scientists look more closely. But it's too soon to say for sure whether Haumea really doesn't match up to this criteria.
Till now there had been only four other planets in outer solar system which had rings - Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune.
Why Does Haumea Have A Ring?
The presumption that only larger planets like Saturn can host rings has been busted. It seems that scientists keep discovering other objects - and not planets - that are being rounded by rings.
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