May 21, 2019 | Updated: 12:07 PM EDT

Hubble Discovers a Moon Around the Third Largest Dwarf Planet

May 20, 2017 08:35 AM EDT

Quaoar, one of dwarf planet in Kuiper Belt, as observed by the Hubble Space Telescope.
(Photo : G. Bacon/NASA/Getty Images) Hubble Space Telescope finds the third largest dwarf planet in Kuiper Belt has a moon orbiting the planet.

Hubble Space Telescope and two other space observatories have found that most of the dwarf planets in Kuiper Belt have the moon around them, with  OR10 as the latest one discovered to have the accompanying moon.

According to NASA, the discovery of the moon in the OR10 provides an insight into the forming of the moons in the young solar system. This confirmed that most of the dwarf planets in Kuiper belt have the moon as their companions.

This finding of the moon in OR10 confirmed the theory of frequent collision that happened during the formation of Kuiper Belt billion of years ago. After the formation of the belt, the objects in the belt continued to collide according to the astronomer at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, Maryland, John Stansberry. Based on the current data, most of the dwarf planets in Kuiper Belt have their own moon, except Sedna that orbits alone.

The other recognized dwarf planets in Kuiper Belt other than OR10 that also have moons orbiting them are Makemake, Haumea, Ceres as reported by Gizmodo. The OR10 has a 950 miles diameter, while its moon is estimated to be 250 miles across. 

“There must have been a fairly high density of objects," Stansberry said regarding the forming of moons in the dwarf planets in Kuiper Belt. "This gravitational stirring may have nudged the bodies out of their orbits and increased their relative velocities, which may have resulted in collisions."

Kuiper Belt is the region in the outskirt of our solar system beyond Pluto, and the region is believed to be the leftover from the formation of our solar system 4.6 billion years ago. Similar to the asteroid belt, there are many icy rocks and dwarf planets in Kuiper Belt. Astronomers have looked into the Kuiper Belt to find the answer to the origin of our solar system.

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