Scientist discover a new ring system on the edge of the Solar System


Ben Cihlar

When scientists discover new things in outer space, it’s a pretty big deal.

Live Science is reporting that a team of astronomers recently discovered a new ring system around a dwarf planet that orbits the solar system.

The ring system surrounds a dwarf planet named Quaoar and orbits a lot further out than the typical ring system. The event took place on February 8th 2023 when scientists put a high speed camera on a telescope, the event lasted less than a minute. 

The discovery was made when astronomers were trying to observe movement in the solar system. The event took place when the light from a background star was blocked by Quaoar as it orbited by the sun. Quaoar’s rings are too small to see directly in an image making this the first time astronomers have seen this event.

This ring system is pretty rare because it orbits on the outer limit of what scientists thought to be maximum radius.

Professor Vik Dhillon, from the University of Sheffield’s Department of Physics and Astronomy, said “It was unexpected to discover this new ring system in our Solar System, and it was doubly unexpected to find the rings so far out from Quaoar.”

This event has changed astronomers theories of ring formation.