Ring discovered around dwarf planet Quaoar confounds theories

Source: The post is based on the article Ring discovered around dwarf planet Quaoar confounds theoriespublished in The Hindu on 11th February 2023.

What is the News?

Astronomers have spotted a ring around a dwarf planet called Quaoar in the outer reaches of the solar system.

What is Quaoar?

Quaoar is a dwarf planet in the Kuiper belt. (Kuiper belt is a flat ring of small icy bodies that revolve around the Sun beyond the orbit of the planet Neptune).

Characteristics: Quaoar is roughly one-twelfth the diameter of Earth, one-third the diameter of the Moon and half the size of Pluto. 

– It is greater in volume than all known asteroids combined. 

– Quaoar has its own moon, the 100-mile-wide (160 km) Weywot.

– Its surface is moderately red and composed of low-density ice mixed with rock.

– It takes about 288 years for Quaoar to go once around the sun in a roughly circular orbit.

– Signs of water ice on the surface of Quaoar have been found, which suggests that cryovolcanism may be occurring on Quaoar. A small amount of methane is also present on its surface which can only be retained by the largest Kuiper belt objects.

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