Icy rings found around tiny space rock

Surprise discovery reveals belt around planetoid orbiting between Saturn and Uranus

By Christopher Crockett, 13:45 PM March 26, 2014

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All of the giant planets in our solar system — Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune — are adorned with rings. Now a much smaller planetoid can take its place on the list of ringed objects. It is the first time rings have been found around such a small object.

Astronomers have discovered a pair of thin rings encircling 10199 Chariklo, a rock-and-ice asteroid-comet hybrid known as a centaur. Chariklo is about 250 kilometers across and orbits the sun between Saturn and Uranus. The ri...

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