For the first time ever, astronomers have discovered rings around an asteroid. Previously rings have only been observed around planets — Jupiter, Uranus, Neptune, and Saturn.
The asteroid in question is Chariklo, which orbits in an area between Saturn and Uranus. It’s approximately 155 miles across, about the length of Massachusetts. As Chariklo passed in front of a distant star last June, astronomers noticed brief flickering just before and after its pass and eventually figured out the flickering was cause by rings.
For more details about the rings and how they might have formed, see “Astronomers Surprised to Find Asteroid With Rings.”