A new ring system in the Solar System? Plus it’s beyond the Roche Limit – which will mean a re-think of our understanding of orbital bodies.
ESA’s Cheops finds an unexpected ring around dwarf planet Quaoar
During a break from looking at planets around other stars, the European Space Agency’s CHaracterising ExOPlanet Satellite (Cheops) mission has observed a dwarf planet in our own Solar System and made a decisive contribution to the discovery of a dense ring of material around it.
The dwarf planet is known as Quaoar. The presence of a ring at a distance of almost seven and a half times the radius of Quaoar and its moon, Weyot, opens up a mystery for astronomers to solve: why has this material not coalesced into a small moon?