A New Moon or Something Else? A Ring System Between Uranus and Saturn Contains Something Mysterious

A New Moon or Something Else? A Ring System Between Uranus and Saturn Contains Something Mysterious

There are about 300 discovered moons in the Solar System, just in case you thought that our Moon is unique. Planets are often surrounded by other smaller cosmic objects. Saturn and Jupiter, for instance, the two biggest planets in our Solar System, have dozens of moons each.

But guess what? The Solar System might even have more moons than astronomers have discovered so far. Some of those astronomers now have the hunch that a new moon is messing with a ring system located between Saturn and Uranus, as Gizmodo reveals.

Chariklo enters the cosmic stage

Chariklo, a small cosmic body of only 275 km across that orbits our Sun between the orbits of Uranus and Saturn, also has rings similar to Saturn. But the rings of Chariklo are now getting shaped by a mysterious cosmic object that astronomers suspect to be an undiscovered moon.

Amanda Sickafoose, the lead author of the new study who also works at the Planetary Science Institute, explained:

Rings around minor planets have only been recently discovered, and only a small number of such systems are currently known. There has been significant research into the dazzling rings around the giant planets; however, the mechanisms of ring formation and evolution around small objects are not well understood.

She also added, as the same source quotes:

We’ve shown that one of the possibilities for thin rings to exist around small bodies is that they are being sculpted by a small satellite.

The new research was published in The Planetary Science Journal.


Even since he was a child, Cristian was staring curiously at the stars, wondering about the Universe and our place in it. Today he's seeing his dream come true by writing about the latest news in astronomy. Cristian is also glad to be covering health and other science topics, having significant experience in writing about such fields.

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