Asteroid Chariklo

Chariklo was the first asteroid found to have a ring system. It was the fifth ring system found in our solar system—after Saturn, Jupiter, Uranus and Neptune.

Animated GIF showing a star passing behind Chariklo, creating a blip that revealed its rings.


With a diameter of about 188 miles (302 kilometers), Chariklo is the largest member of an asteroid class known as the Centaurs. It orbits between more than 2 billion miles away beyond the orbit of Saturn.

Chariklo's rings were first spotted in 2013. In 2023, scientists used a new technique with NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope to capture the shadows of starlight cast by the thin rings of Chariklo. Chariklo is about ~51 times smaller than Earth in diameter, and its rings orbit at a distance of about 250 miles (400 kilometers) from the center of the body. The rings are believed to be between two and four miles (3-7 kilometers) wide.

How Chariklo Got Its Name

Chariklo, sometimes described as a sea nymph, sometimes as a female centaur, was the wife of Chiron in Greek mythology.


10199 Chariklo was found on Feb. 15, 1997 by the Spacewatch team at the University of Arizona's Lunar and Planetary Laboratory.

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