Something is messing with the ring system between Saturn and Uranus

Something is messing with the ring system between Saturn and Uranus

A previously unknown satellite may be forming the rings of Chariclo, a small body orbiting the Sun between the orbits of Saturn and Uranus, according to a team of astronomers who recently simulated the rings’ dynamics.

Chariclo is about 160 miles (257.5 km) wide and is one such location CentaurIt is a group of icy bodies located between Jupiter, the ice giant Uranus, and Neptune. Chariklo is The largest of these small objectsmaking it similar to A large rock is the size of a small rock As far as preferences go. Shariklo also includes two rings that were discovered in 2013 and more recently It was observed by the Webb Space Telescope.

Now, search published in Planetary Science Journal It suggests that the satellite may confine Chariclo’s narrow rings. “Planetary rings will spread out or disperse over time naturally,” Amanda Sikafoos, an astronomer at the Planetary Science Institute and lead author of the study, said in an article. Release the institute.

“Chariclo shows two thin rings, a few kilometers across,” Sicafios added. “For the rings to remain this thin, there must be a mechanism to trap the material and prevent it from dispersing.”

Cassini image of the shepherd moons working on Saturn's F ring.

To model how the satellite sustains Chariclo’s rings, the team ran N-body simulations. In other words, they modeled the motion of the millions of molecules that make up the rings.

The team determined that the satellite orbiting Chariclo (which is 160 miles across) could have a diameter of about 3.73 miles (6 km). The idea that the shepherd moon could trap the rings of Chariclo existed It has been suggested previouslyBut the idea is now supported by recent simulations.

The team also determined that centaur rings lie around—if not beyond—the Roche limit, and should form a minimum distance from the body’s rings. Beyond that limit, the toroidal material would simply be pulled to the Moon by gravity.

“There has been significant research into dazzling rings around giant planets; however, the mechanisms of ring formation and evolution around small objects are not well understood. “We have shown that one possibility for thin rings around small objects is that they are sculpted by a small satellite.”

Further observations could reveal whether the satellite is indeed orbiting Chariclo, although there are no direct imagers capable of detecting it. If we are to solve the mystery forever, it will require either indirect observations or an entirely new task.

more: The visitor from the Oort Cloud may be among the largest comets ever documented

(tags for translation)ring system

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