After studying the data obtained with twelve different telescopes nine European observatories, an international team of astronomers revealed that the dwarf planet called Haumea has a system of rings. Also, professionals were able to clarify the size of the cosmic body and some other characteristics.
As it turned out, the dwarf planet is much larger and less bright than shown by earlier calculations. Even more curious was the fact that only Haumea surrounds at least one large ring of dust and gas. As specified, the radius is approximately 2 287 kilometers, with a width of about 70 kilometers. The reasons for the formation of these rings remain for scientists in many respects a mystery.
For a long time it was believed that the dust ring may surround only the gas giants like Saturn. However, in comparatively recent times they also managed to find some on the orbit of the dwarf planets and the so-called “asteroids-centaurs” that have some characteristics of comets. However, even if included in the list of objects the presence of rings is not proven for sure, the number of known celestial bodies in the Solar system surrounded by rings, is less than ten.
Haumea named after Hawaiian fertility goddess. This dwarf planet farther from the Sun than Neptune — in the same region of the Solar system, and Pluto. It was opened on 28 December 2004 and in July 2005, the opening could be confirmed. It is the fourth largest dwarf planet in the Solar system — its diameter “along” is approximately equal to the diameter of Pluto, and the diameter “across” two times less. Before the opening of the ring system, scientists ‘ interest was attracted to many other features of this cosmic body — it has an unusual elongated shape and rotates faster than any other sufficiently studied object in the Solar system with a diameter of over 100 kilometers. Also in the past Haumea was discovered two satellites.
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