Saturday, September 22, 2007

Rings around Uranus

My dad came out here last weekend and he always brings me little articles to read. This last one he brought me was very interesting, so I decided to share it with all of you.

The Kansas City Star published an article from the San Francisco Chronicle about Space News. The planet with the funniest name is now doing funny things. Every 42 years, astronomers get a chance to look at Uranus and its rings edge on. The last time anyone got to see Uranus’s rings at this angle was when the Voyager 2 went by 21 years ago and took all the pictures it could take. Using these pictures and the new pictures astronomers recently got to take, they find that Uranus’s rings are doing strange things. It seems that they are dynamic. Some of the rings are much brighter than they were and the one closest to the surface of Uranus is moving. This is quite a find. Imke de Pater, a planetary astronomer from UC who was interviewed for the article, says the ring system looks completely different.

I, personally, think space is really interesting. Saturn is my favorite because its rings are so beautiful. Now, I think I will have to change my favorite to Uranus because it has rings that change. I wonder if Uranus ever has trouble figuring out what rings to wear when it gets up in the morning.

Just kidding!

Thanks for the picture of the beautiful Uranus.

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