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*†Research on Possibility of Ring Formation of 10199 Chariko by Partially Inelastic Collision (2020)

S. Yoon. 

Youth International Science Fair Bronze

Published on International Journal of STEAM

Korea Science and Engineering Fair Physics Bronze

KSEF International Earth Science Bronze

Discovered in 2014 to have two rings, the asteroid 10199 Chariklo became a counterexample to conventional theory that minor planets cannot have rings. However, how Chariklo obtained its two rings remained a point of speculation. The main goal of this research is to explore various possibilities of the mechanism of Chariklo’s rings’ creation. Two possibilities of particles outside Chariklo forming the ring were considered, yet rejected as external particles simply cannot drift into the rings’ orbits. Thus, we hypothesized that the ring formed through three steps: (1) an external object (e.g. a small asteroid) collided with Chariklo, making it spin faster. (2) Then, the high angular velocity ejected particles from the surface, and (3) these particles collided with one another to form a ring. We simulated perfectly and partially inelastic collisions.

In conclusion, perfectly inelastic collisions were not able to form a ring identical to those of Chariklo, but they were able to create a ring at a smaller radius. On the other hand, rings identical to those of Chariklo were able to be formed through partially inelastic collisions. It was further discovered that a very wide range of scenarios allowed ring creation through this mechanism, further validating the hypothesis.

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