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Emily LakdawallaMarch 27, 2014

Hangout on Air: Why yesterday was a good day for Solar System Science

On Wednesday, March 26, two important discoveries in the outer solar system were announced: the discovery of the second confirmed member of the Inner Oort Cloud (2012 VP113) and the discovery of rings around the planetesimal Chariklo.

In a Hangout on Air held today among astronomers Meg Schwamb, Alex Parker, Kat Volk, Wes Fraser, Michelle Bannister, plus me, we talked about the discoveries, why they're important, and what they mean for our Solar System. Watch the recording:

Ringed Chariklo

© Don Davis

Ringed Chariklo
Chariklo is the largest Centaur, an icy world in the realm between asteroids and comets. In 2013, it was discovered to have not one, but two, rings. Chariklo is about 250 km or so in diameter. Its inner ring is at 391 kilometers from the center of Chariklo and is 7 kilometers wide. Its outer ring is at 405 kilometers and is 3 kilometers wide. The gap between the rings is 8 kilometers wide.
The orbits of Pluto, Eris, Sedna, and 2012 VP113

Unmannedspaceflight.com user Lucas

The orbits of Pluto, Eris, Sedna, and 2012 VP113

Read more: trans-neptunian objects, podcasts and videos, events and announcements, dwarf planets beyond Neptune, trojans and centaurs

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Emily Lakdawalla

Senior Editor and Planetary Evangelist for The Planetary Society
Read more articles by Emily Lakdawalla

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