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The warm glow of rings around Uranus

24 Jun 2019, 13:00 UTC
The warm glow of rings around Uranus Edward Molter and Imke de Pater

All four of the giant planets in our solar system have rings. Saturn’s are obvious, Jupiter’s are incredibly thin, and while Neptune has rings one of them has bright regions that form more obvious arcs, the cause of which is unknown.

Uranus has rings, too. Observations from the ground and from spacecraft have determined there are at least ten narrow rings made of icy particles, and also three broader, dustier rings. Uranus’s rings are dark in visible light, meaning they don’t reflect much sunlight, making them hard to see from Earth.

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