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Scientists detected the first X-ray radiation from Uranus

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Manish Saini
Manish works as a Journalist and writer at Revyuh.com. He has studied Political Science and graduated from Delhi University. He is a Political engineer, fascinated by politics, and traditional businesses. He is also attached to many NGO's in the country and helping poor children to get the basic education. Email: Manish (at) revyuh (dot) com

The data obtained by Astronomers from NASA will help to learn more about the mysterious ice giant in our solar system.

Astronomers from NASA have discovered the first X-rays from Uranus.

It is noted that they were discovered using the Chandra X-ray Observatory.

Uranus is the seventh planet from the Sun to have two sets of rings around the equator. Its diameter is four times the size of the Earth, and it rotates on its side, which distinguishes the planet from all others in the solar system. The celestial body is almost entirely composed of hydrogen and helium. 

The only spacecraft that ever flew past Uranus was Voyager 2, so astronomers get data on the distant planet using space telescopes. 

In the new study, scientists used Chandra’s observations of Uranus in 2002 and then in 2017. 

They saw clear traces of X-rays in the first observation, which they analyzed very recently, and a possible burst of X-rays in the data obtained 15 years later.

Astronomers believe that the Sun is the cause of the X-rays from Uranus. They noticed that both Jupiter and Saturn scatter X-ray light emitted by the luminary, just as the Earth’s atmosphere scatters the light of the Sun. 

The authors of the new study of Uranus initially expected that most of the detected X-rays were caused by scattering, but there is reason to believe that there is another source of rays on the planet. 

One theory is that the rings of Uranus produce X-rays themselves, as is the case with the rings of Saturn. Uranium is surrounded by charged particles, and when they collide with the rings, they can make them glow in the X-ray spectrum. 

Another possibility is that at least some of the X-rays come from the auroras on Uranus. 

Chandra’s observations should help unravel this mystery. 

Identifying Uranus’ X-ray sources will help astronomers better understand how more exotic objects in space, such as growing black holes and neutron stars, emit X-rays. 

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