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Nature. 2014 Apr 3;508(7494):72-5. doi: 10.1038/nature13155. Epub 2014 Mar 26.

A ring system detected around the Centaur (10199) Chariklo.

Author information

  • 1Observatório Nacional/MCTI, Rua General José Cristino 77, CEP 20921-400 Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil.
  • 2LESIA, Observatoire de Paris, CNRS UMR 8109, Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Université Paris-Diderot, 5 place Jules Janssen, F-92195 Meudon Cedex, France.
  • 3Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía, CSIC, Apartado 3004, 18080 Granada, Spain.
  • 4Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Justus-von-Liebig-Weg 3, 37077 Göttingen, Germany.
  • 51] Observatório Nacional/MCTI, Rua General José Cristino 77, CEP 20921-400 Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil [2] Observatório do Valongo/UFRJ, Ladeira Pedro Antonio 43, CEP 20.080-090 Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil [3] Observatoire de Paris, IMCCE, UPMC, CNRS, 77 Avenue Denfert-Rochereau, 75014 Paris, France.
  • 6Observatório do Valongo/UFRJ, Ladeira Pedro Antonio 43, CEP 20.080-090 Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil.
  • 7Institut d'Astrophysique de l'Université de Liège, Allée du 6 Août 17, B-4000 Liège, Belgium.
  • 8Physics and Astronomy Department, Appalachian State University, Boone, North Carolina 28608, USA.
  • 9Instituto de Astrofísica, Facultad de Física, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Avenida Vicuña Mackenna 4860, Santiago 7820436, Chile.
  • 10Universidade Estadual de Ponta Grossa, O.A. - DEGEO, Avenida Carlos Cavalcanti 4748, Ponta Grossa 84030-900, PR, Brazil.
  • 111] Polo Astronômico Casimiro Montenegro Filho/FPTI-BR, Avenida Tancredo Neves 6731, CEP 85867-900, Foz do Iguaçu, PR, Brazil [2] Universidade Estadual do Oeste do Paraná (Unioeste), Avenda Tarquínio Joslin dos Santos, 1300, CEP 85870-650, Foz do Iguaçu, PR, Brazil.
  • 121] Ministerio de Educación de la Provincia de Córdoba, Santa Rosa 751, Córdoba 5000, Argentina [2] Observatorio Astronómico, Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Laprida 854, Córdoba 5000, Argentina.
  • 131] Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen, Juliane Maries vej 30, 2100 Copenhagen, Denmark [2] Centre for Star and Planet Formation, Geological Museum, Øster Voldgade 5, 1350 Copenhagen, Denmark.
  • 14Instituto de Física e Química, Avenida BPS 1303, CEP 37500-903, Itajubá, MG, Brazil.
  • 15UNESP - Universidade Estadual Paulista, Avenida Ariberto Pereira da Cunha, 333, CEP 12516-410 Guaratinguetá, SP, Brazil.
  • 161] LESIA, Observatoire de Paris, CNRS UMR 8109, Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Université Paris-Diderot, 5 place Jules Janssen, F-92195 Meudon Cedex, France [2] Observatoire de Paris, IMCCE, UPMC, CNRS, 77 Avenue Denfert-Rochereau, 75014 Paris, France.
  • 171] Observatorio Astronomico Los Molinos, DICYT, MEC, 12400 Montevideo, Uruguay [2] Departamento de Astronomia, Facultad Ciencias, Universidad de la República, 11300 Montevideo, Uruguay.
  • 18Observatorio El Catalejo, Mussio 255, Santa Rosa, La Pampa 6300, Argentina.
  • 19San Pedro de Atacama Celestial Explorations, Casilla 21, San Pedro de Atacama 1410000, Chile.
  • 20Complejo Astronómico El Leoncito (CASLEO) and San Juan National University, Avenida España 1512 sur, J5402DSP, San Juan, Argentina.
  • 21Observatorio Astronomico Los Molinos, DICYT, MEC, 12400 Montevideo, Uruguay.
  • 221] Departamento de Astronomia, Facultad Ciencias, Universidad de la República, 11300 Montevideo, Uruguay [2] Observatorio del IPA, Consejo de Formación en Educación, 11800 Montevideo, Uruguay.
  • 231] Yunnan Observatories, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming 650011, China [2] Key Laboratory for the Structure and Evolution of Celestial Objects, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming 650011, China.
  • 241] Instituto de Astrofísica, Facultad de Física, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Avenida Vicuña Mackenna 4860, Santiago 7820436, Chile [2] Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, Königstuhl 17, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany.
  • 25Department of Electrical Engineering and Center of Astro-Engineering, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Avenida Vicuña Mackenna 4860, Santiago 7820436, Chile.
  • 26Polo Astronômico Casimiro Montenegro Filho/FPTI-BR, Avenida Tancredo Neves 6731, CEP 85867-900, Foz do Iguaçu, PR, Brazil.
  • 271] Observatorio Astronómico, Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Laprida 854, Córdoba 5000, Argentina [2] Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET), Córdoba 5000, Argentina [3] Instituto de Astronomía Teórica y Experimental IATE-CONICET, Córdoba 5000, Argentina [4] Facultad de Ciências Exactas, Físicas y Naturales, Universidad Nacional de Córdoba (UNC), Córdoba 5000, Argentina.
  • 28Observatorio Astronómico, Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Laprida 854, Córdoba 5000, Argentina.
  • 29Observatoire de Paris, IMCCE, UPMC, CNRS, 77 Avenue Denfert-Rochereau, 75014 Paris, France.
  • 30Unidad de Astronomía, Facultad de Ciencias Básicas, Universidad de Antofagasta, Avenida Angamos 601, Antofagasta, Region II, Chile.
  • 31Departamento de Astronomia, Facultad Ciencias, Universidad de la República, 11300 Montevideo, Uruguay.
  • 32Scottish Universities Physics Alliance, University of St Andrews, School of Physics and Astronomy, North Haugh, St Andrews KY16 9SS, UK.
  • 33Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599, USA.
  • 341] Observatorio Astronómico, Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Laprida 854, Córdoba 5000, Argentina [2] Instituto de Astronomía Teórica y Experimental IATE-CONICET, Córdoba 5000, Argentina.

Abstract

Hitherto, rings have been found exclusively around the four giant planets in the Solar System. Rings are natural laboratories in which to study dynamical processes analogous to those that take place during the formation of planetary systems and galaxies. Their presence also tells us about the origin and evolution of the body they encircle. Here we report observations of a multichord stellar occultation that revealed the presence of a ring system around (10199) Chariklo, which is a Centaur--that is, one of a class of small objects orbiting primarily between Jupiter and Neptune--with an equivalent radius of 124 ±  9 kilometres (ref. 2). There are two dense rings, with respective widths of about 7 and 3 kilometres, optical depths of 0.4 and 0.06, and orbital radii of 391 and 405 kilometres. The present orientation of the ring is consistent with an edge-on geometry in 2008, which provides a simple explanation for the dimming of the Chariklo system between 1997 and 2008, and for the gradual disappearance of ice and other absorption features in its spectrum over the same period. This implies that the rings are partly composed of water ice. They may be the remnants of a debris disk, possibly confined by embedded, kilometre-sized satellites.

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PMID:
24670644
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