A new discovery has been made by astronomers using the Gran Telescopio Canarias (GTC) located on La Palma. They have found a ring system surrounding a dwarf planet located at the edge of our solar system. Interestingly, the ring system is situated further out than other known ring systems, raising questions about the currently accepted theories on their formation.

The planet, called Quaoar, is about half the size of Pluto and orbits a region beyond Neptune. Quaoar’s ring system is really interesting because it’s located far from the planet – farther than anyone thought was possible. Before this discovery, scientists believed that ring systems could only exist within a certain range of distances from their host planet, based on the so-called “Roche limit.” For example, Saturn’s main rings are located pretty close to the planet itself. But this new discovery has shattered those assumptions and forced a rethinking of our understanding of how ring systems can form and survive.

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