‎ Are there rings around Pluto?‎



  • J. J. Rawal The Indian Planetary Society (IPS) B-201, Lokmanya Tilak Road, Borivali (W), Mumbai – 400092, India
  • Bijan Nikouravan University of Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia




Giant impact, Pluto-Charon System, Roche-limit, resonance, rings- new satellites, Kuiper-Belt‎


Considering effects of tidal plus centrifugal stress acting on icy-rocks and the tensile strength thereof, icy-rocks being in the density range (1–2.4) g cm-3 which had come into existence as collisional ejecta (debris) in the vicinity of Pluto at the time when Pluto-Charon system came into being as a result of a giant impact of a Kuiper Belt Object on the primordial Pluto, it is shown, here, that these rocks going around Pluto in its vicinity is under slow disruption generating a stable ring structure consisting of icy-rocks of diameters in the range (20–90) km, together with fine dust and particles disrupted off the rocks, and spread all over the regions in their respective Roche Zones, various Roche radii being in ~1/2 three-body mean motion resonance. Calculations of gravitational spheres of influence of Pluto which turns out to be 4.2 x 106 km for prograde orbits and 8.5 x 106 km for retrograde orbits together with the existence of Kuiper Belt in the vicinity of Pluto assure that there may exist a few rocks (satellites)/dust rings/sheets so far undiscovered moving in prograde orbits around the planet and few others which are distant ones and move around Pluto in the region between 4.2x106 km and 8.5x106 km in retrograde orbits.


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Author Biographies

J. J. Rawal, The Indian Planetary Society (IPS) B-201, Lokmanya Tilak Road, Borivali (W), Mumbai – 400092, India

Bijan Nikouravan, University of Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia


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