Cosmic collision creates mini-planet with rings

Niels Bohr Institutet
26. marts 2014

Until now, rings of material in a disc have only been observed around giant planets like Jupiter, Uranus, Neptune and especially Saturn, which is known for its spectacular rings.

Now astronomers from the Niels Bohr Institute, among others, have observed the first miniature planet with two rings of ice and pebbles. It is a smaller celestial body, called Chariklo, located two billion kilometers out in the solar system between Saturn and Uranus. 
This comet like object has been known for many years, but despite careful study, its rings have never been observed before now. This has happened because a new camera is now being used on the Danish telescope at ESO's La Silla Observatory in Chile.

Produced by: European Southern Observatory
Executive producer: Lars Lindberg Christensen
Duration: 4:53 min.