Chandra detects X-ray emission from Uranus | Astronomy

Uranus, the seventh planet from the Sun, and its ring system mainly produce X-ray emissions by scattering solar X-rays, but some may even come from Aurora.

This composite image shows a 2002 (pink) Uranus lunar X-ray image that exaggerated the optical image from the Keck-I telescope obtained in 2004. Image Credit: NASA / CXO / University College London / Ton And others.

“X-ray emissions have been detected from comets, Venus, Earth, Mars, Saturn, Pluto, Jupiter and many of Jupiter’s moons,” said Dr. William Dunn, an astronomer at the Mullard Space Science Laboratory at University College London. His colleagues.

“Mercury, which is closest to the Sun, is being tested by X-ray laboratories around the Earth. In-situ X-ray instruments have provided detailed maps of the planet’s X-ray emissions. ”

“Of the planets in the solar system, only the ice giants Uranus and Neptune remain undetected on X-ray.”

“In this study, we will look closely at these two bodies: Uranus,” they said.

In the study, they used data collected by NASA’s Chandra X-ray Laboratory in 2002 and 2017.

They found that X-rays were clearly detectable from the first observation, were recently analyzed, and that X-rays may occur in those obtained after 15 years.

“What causes Uranus to emit X-rays? Answer: Mainly the sun,” they noted.

Although the team initially expected that most of the detected X-rays would scatter sunlight, there are indications that at least one source is present.

“There is a possibility that the rings of Uranus will produce X-rays themselves, which is for Saturn’s rings,” the astronomers said.

“Uranus is surrounded by charged particles such as electrons and protons in its vicinity.”

“If these energetic particles collide with the rings, they will glow the rings on X-rays.”

“Another possibility is that at least some X-rays are coming from Aurora in Uranus, an event previously seen at other wavelengths on this planet,” they added.

“X-rays are emitted in the Earth’s aurora, which are produced by energetic electrons as they travel down the planet’s magnetic field lines to its poles and travel slowly through the atmosphere.”

“Jupiter has an aurora. X-rays from the Jovian aurora come from two sources: electrons traveling in the same magnetic field lines as the Earth, and atoms and molecules in the polar regions of Jupiter.”

“However, we are not sure what caused the auroras in Uranus. Chandra’s observations may help to unravel this mystery. ”

The Findings Posted in Journal of Geophysical Research.


WR tons And others. 2021. Low signal detection of X-rays from Uranus. Journal of Geophysical Research 126 (4); doi: 10.1029 / 2020JA028739

Sophia Harrison

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I'm Sophia Harrison working as a part-time staff at the Costco since the past year until I become as an author at the iron blade, hope I can use my experiences with the supermarkets here.

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