Source: The post is based on the article “Ring discovered around dwarf planet Quaoar confounds theories” published 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.