Another Dwarf Planet With A Ring, Say Hello To Haumea


Scientists found another dwarf planet with a ring around it. This is the fourth dwarf planet in our solar system and there could be more. The dwarf planet has been named Haumea and it has materials orbiting it. Hence, it was a surprising discovery for the scientists. Haumea is the third celestial body with a ring that scientists have found in recent years.

Image credit: IAA-CSIC/UHU

Haumea’s Ring

Haumea is an egg-shaped dwarf planet and sits far beyond Neptune. It has been named after the Hawaiian goddess of childbirth and fertility. It also has two moons. The new findings were published in the journal “Nature” on Wednesday. According to the new study, there are a number of icy dwarf planets beyond Neptune. And for some reason a lot of them have rings. The study also suggests that we might have been wrong about the size of Haumea. The dwarf planet is most possibly not a dwarf planet. Scientists are trying to figure out the exact size of Haumea.

Earlier this year Haumea passed in front of a distant star. Scientists used a method called occultation to know about the dwarf planet in detail. This method uses the slight variation in the stars light when an object passes in front of the star to determine the size and characteristics of the object.

Scientists yet don’t have any clue about how the ring formed.

Jose Ortiz, lead author and head of the Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía in Spain said, “There are different possible explanations for the formation of the ring; it may have originated in a collision with another object, or in the dispersal of surface material due to the planet’s high rotational speed,”

“In 2014 we discovered that a very small body in the Centaurs region had a ring and at that time it seemed to be a very weird thing,”, he added.


Also published on Medium.