MARK GARLICK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MARK GARLICK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Chariklo, discovered in 1997, is an asteroid of the Centaur variety, exhibiting characteristics of both asteroids and comets.Its orbit takes it from 13 AU (astronomical units) to nearly 19 AU from the Sun. In March 2014, astronomers announced that Chariklo is encircled by a pair of narrow rings, making it the smallest known planetary body so decorated at only about 235 kilometres across. The innermost ring has a diameter of 792 kilometres and a width of 7 kilometres. The outermost ring is 810 kilometres across and narrower, with a width of 3 kilometres.They are separated by a 9 km gap and appear to be rich in particles of water ice.
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