The more scientists study it, the more weird it becomes Uranus Obtains.
The latest puzzle to add to the planet’s repertoire? Astronomers have detected X-rays from the strange world – and while some signals may be reflected by emissions from the Sun, some appear to be coming from the planet itself, according to NASA statement.
This is according to new research that analyzed the observations of Uranus collected by NASA Chandra X-ray Observatory In 2002 and 2017.
Many solar system bodies emit x-rays – everything from Venus to Saturn to the moons of Jupiter, the scientists wrote in a paper describing their research. In fact, among the planets of the solar system, only Uranus and Neptune It was missing from the list.
The astronomers’ team was specially drawn to study Uranus with X-rays because the planet’s alignment is quite mixed: the planet is on its side and the axis of its magnetic field is Akimbo from Both the orbital plane and the axis of rotation. Skewed axes may give rise to a particularly complex aurorae, which can emit x-rays.
So the scientists decided to look at Uranus’ scarce Chandra observations – only three pieces of data, one from August 2002 and two from November 2017. The 2002 and 2017 observations also come from various instruments on the telescope, and in the 2017 data, researchers cannot determine which X-rays are coming. From the planet itself and any other location from the point of view of the detector.
All this means that scientists, as usual, want more observations. But according to the researchers, both patches of data seem to emerge X-ray emissions From the alien planet – and more than what is expected only from the planet’s atmosphere emitting X-ray emissions from the sun.
The scientists wrote that if some of the X-rays that the researchers discovered were actually coming from Uranus itself, rather than the emission reflected from the Sun, then some phenomena could play out. Saturn’s rings X-rays produce fluorescence when they collide with charged particles from the sun, and Uranus’ two sets of rings may do the same. Or the x-rays may come from Aurora Borealis on Uranus, As they do on Jupiter, although scientists aren’t sure what might trigger the auroras themselves.
Scientists hope that future observations by Chandra will help determine what is happening in Uranus. Missions that have not yet been launched may also be able to study X-ray emissions on the planet, particularly the European Space Agency An advanced high-energy astrophysics telescope (ATHENA), slated to be launched in 2031, or Lynx X-ray Observatory The mission that NASA is considering launching after the Romanian Nancy Grace telescope.
The search is described in a a sheet Posted today (March 31) in the Journal of Geophysical Research.
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