This ESOcast shows how observations at many sites in South America, including ESO’s La Silla Observatory, have made the surprise discovery that the remote asteroid Chariklo is surrounded by two dense and narrow rings. This is the smallest object by far found to have rings and only the fifth body in the Solar System — after the much larger planets Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune — to have this feature. The origin of these rings remains a mystery, but they may be the result of a collision that created a disc of debris.

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Visual design and editing: Martin Kornmesser and Luis Calçada.
Editing: Herbert Zodet.
Web and technical support: Mathias André and Raquel Yumi Shida.
Written by: Ryan Laird and Richard Hook.
Presented by: Joe Liske (Dr. J).
Narration: Sara Mendes da Costa.
Music: John Stanford (
Footage and photos: ESO, Felipe Braga Ribas, Luis Calçada, Martin Kornmesser, José Francisco Salgado (, Alexandre Santerne, NASA, ESA and M. Showalter (SETI Institute).
Directed by: Herbert Zodet.
Executive producer: Lars Lindberg Christensen.

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ESO Observatory

ESOcast is a video podcast series dedicated to bringing you the latest news and research from ESO – Astronomy made on planet Earth. Here we explore the Universe's ultimate frontier with our host Doctor J, a.k.a. Dr. Joe Liske.

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