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Peculiar dwarf planet Haumea found to have rings around it

12 October 2017

The findings of that intense study were announced this week and scientists found something very cool about the dwarf planet, which lives in our solar system in the Kuiper Belt beyond Neptune. Its diameter is approximately a third of the size of Earth's moon. It seems that scientists keep discovering other objects - and not planets - that are being rounded by rings. In fact, it might be taken out of the "dwarf planets list" that the astronomers composed. Pluto has a rocky core but is mostly made up of ice. Two separate teams of astronomers - one led by Ortiz at the Sierra Nevada Observatory, the other led by Mike Brown at Caltech in the USA - claimed to have discovered it in close proximity to each other, leading to a dispute that delayed its official naming.

The planet, dubbed Haumea, orbits the Sun far beyond Neptune - the eighth and furthest recognized "full" planet in our star system since Pluto was downgraded to dwarf status in 2006, AFP reported Wednesday.

The paper also suggests that Haumea might not be as small as we think.

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That rapid spin makes it the fastest-spinning large object known in our solar system.

To learn more about this particular dwarf planet, Ortiz and his colleagues worked out that on 12 January this year Haumea would pass in front of a distant star, known by the catchy title URAT1 533-182543, giving them the ideal opportunity to study it in more detail.

"It shows that the presence of rings could be much more common than was previously thought, in our solar system as well as in other planetary systems". It has two known moons: "Hiʻiaka and Namaka".

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The dwarf planet got its name after the Hawaiian goddess of childbirth and fertility, according to NASA. But it's too soon to say for sure whether Haumea really doesn't match up to this criteria. The researchers divulged that the egg shaped miniature planet Haumea, one of the four notable minuscule planets that wreath the Sun from beyond the orbit of Neptune, is encompassed by a ring of substance round about 43 miles in width.

Centaurs, which have unstable orbits, are considered large comets, not planets, which means this is the first observation of a ring around a dwarf planet. She also reiterated that we can intercept supplemental ring associated discoveries in the future.

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