Feb 16, 2023
Today’s edition of our Current Affairs will comprise a discussion on Ring around a Dwarf planet: What is the Roche limit?. Read further to upgrade your UPSC CSE knowledge and also understand the topic’s relevance to the UPSC syllabus.
For Prelims: General Science
dwarf planet, Roche limit, Astronomers, Kuiper Belt, Quaoar
For Mains: GS Mains Paper III (Awareness in the field of Space)
Highlights of the study, About the Ring discovered, About the Roche limit, Reason behind Quaoar’s far-out ring
Recently a new study has said that Astronomers have found a ring around a dwarf planet, located in the Kuiper Belt at the solar system’s edge, called Quaoar.
Elucidate the concept of Dwarf Planet, with latest findings. (150 words, 10 marks)
The Kuiper Belt is a ring of icy bodies just outside of Neptune’s orbit. Pluto is the most famous Kuiper Belt Object (KBO).
The Kuiper Belt is named after a scientist named Gerard Kuiper.
With an estimated radius of 555 km, Quaoar is roughly half the size of Pluto and orbits beyond Neptune. It also has a moon of its own, which is known as Weywot.
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News Source: The Indian Express
According to the International Astronomical Union, which sets definitions for planetary science, a dwarf planet is a celestial body that -orbits the sun, has enough mass to assume a nearly round shape, has not cleared the neighborhood around its orbit, and is not a moon.
It has been found that Quaoar, a dwarf planet, has a dense ring of the trans-Neptunian object. Quaoar is positioned much further away from the planet than is usual and defies theoretical explanations. According to the study, the ring lies far away from the Roche limit, a mathematically determined distance beyond which rings aren’t supposed to exist.
Yes, it was recently discovered that Quaoar, a dwarf planet, has a dense ring of the trans-Neptunian object.
No other planet in our solar system has rings as splendid as Saturn’s. They are so expansive and bright that they were discovered as soon as humans began pointing telescopes at the night sky. Saturn is the most distant of the five planets known to ancient stargazers. In 1610, Italian Galileo Galilei was the first astronomer to gaze at Saturn through a telescope.
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