The dwarf planet Quaoar is located beyond the orbit of Pluto. Earlier, it was discovered that it had one ring. Now scientists say they have discovered something else. Both of them question some theories of the formation of moons of celestial bodies.
Second ring near the Quaoar object
An international team of astronomers has published an article that the dwarf planet Quaoar has a second ring. This celestial body is located beyond the orbit of Pluto. It was discovered in 2002 and named after a deity from the pantheon of the indigenous people of North America.
Quaoar has a diameter of 1100 km and a shape close to spherical. In 2006, it turned out that it had a moon Weywot with a diameter of about 170 km. And in February 2022, scientists discovered that there was a ring of debris and dust between the dwarf planet and its moon.
Then the ring was discovered by indirect methods after it was obscured by the stars. You can’t see it with a normal telescope. Now astronomers have similarly found a second similar structure in Quaoar. And both of them ask scientists a very interesting riddle.
The main mystery of the rings of the dwarf planet Quaoar is that they are located beyond the Roche limit. This is the distance from the celestial body at which its tidal forces are sufficient to tear the moon to shreds.
All modern theories of the formation of moons in small planets proceed from the fact that closer to the Roche limit, everything that orbits around the planet can exist only in the form of rings of debris, and everything beyond it should gather one moon.
However, the Quaoar rings, which, as it turns out, are not one, but two, violate this rule. And now scientists are trying to explain it somehow. Perhaps the theory is wrong. However, scientists point out that the reason may be in the moon Weywot, which influenced the formation of rings.
According to phys.org
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