Discover 19 cosmic beauties beyond mere planets in our system.

By Oliver Townsend Jun 1, 2024
19 celestial objects in our solar system that aren't planets.jpegOrginal image from: https://qz.com/solar-system-objects-asteroids-moons-centaurs-1851512521

Exploring the fascinating celestial objects in our solar system that aren’t planets opens up a world of wonder and intrigue. While the eight planets and five dwarf planets dominate our attention, there are numerous other objects orbiting our star that contribute to the rich tapestry of our cosmic neighborhood. From icy moons to asteroids with rings, these celestial bodies offer valuable insights into the history and composition of our solar system. Let’s delve into the realm of these lesser-known but equally captivating objects that call our solar system home.

Arrokoth: A Window to the Ancient Past

Arrokoth, an ancient planetesimal in the Kuiper Belt, provides a glimpse into the early days of our solar system. Formed billions of years ago from a sea of icy particles, Arrokoth remained shrouded in mystery until the New Horizons mission ventured close in 2019. The images captured by the spacecraft revealed a fascinating world composed of two lobes fused together, offering clues to its formation and evolution.

Chariklo: The Enigmatic Centaur with Rings

Chariklo, the largest centaur in our solar system, surprised astronomers by revealing a ring system around its rocky body. This discovery marked a significant milestone as Chariklo became the first small body known to possess rings. With its icy particles orbiting at a distance of 250 miles, Chariklo’s unique characteristics challenge our understanding of these hybrid objects that straddle the line between comets and asteroids.

Mimas: The Death Star Moon of Saturn

Mimas, Saturn’s crater-covered moon, earned the nickname “Death Star” due to its striking resemblance to the iconic space station from Star Wars. Despite its small size, Mimas captivates with the enormous Herschel Crater dominating its surface. Scientists marvel at Mimas’ composition, primarily water ice, and its unusual orbit close to Saturn, offering a puzzling contrast to its neighboring moon Enceladus.

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