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Outer Space!: First Asteroid With Ring System Discovered

asteroid-with-rings.jpg

This is an artist's impression of the asteroid Chariklo. It is the first known asteroid with a ring system, sporting two distinct rings. Me? I don't wear rings, but I do wear a puka shell necklace. *throws up shaka hand sign* Surfs up, hobo brobro! "You've f***ing lost it." I never had it to begin with.

Announced on Wednesday, astronomers using several observatories in South America, including the ESO's La Silla Observatory in Chile, have discovered that distant asteroid Chariklo possesses two distinct rings. Chariklo, which is approximately 250 kilometers (155 miles) wide, is the largest space rock in a class of asteroids known as Centaurs that orbit between Saturn and Uranus in the outer solar system.


This is the smallest object in the solar system found to have rings and only the fifth body in the Solar System -- after the much larger planets Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune -- to have this feature.

Fascinating. You know what would be even cooler to find a ring around? My ring finger. ♫ Cause if you liked it, then you should have put a ring on it ♫ "Who said I ever liked it?" But I let you have my butt!

Thanks to Jamie M, who is officially Geekologie's planetary-scientist-in-residence from now on.

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