Uranus emits X-rays, and scientists want to pay close attention.
This is the mysterious result of a new study that analyzed two views of the planet and discovered the X-ray function for the first time.
Astronomers saw snapshots of the planet taken by NASA’s Lunar Laboratory in 2002 and 2017, with X-rays clearly detected on the first observation and a possible expansion in the second.
Most of those X-rays are mostly due to the sun; It is already known that both Jupiter and Saturn scatter X-ray light provided by the Sun, and research shows that Uranus does the same.
But not all functions can be explained, and NASA has called on scientists to look in more detail.
“Although the authors of the new Uranus study initially expected most of the X-rays to be from scattering, there are indications that at least one source of X-rays may be present.” NASA release. “If further observations confirm this, it could have enigmatic implications for understanding Uranus.”
“There is a possibility that the rings of Uranus will produce X-rays themselves, which will apply to Saturn’s rings.”
The authors wrote that X-rays have been detected on most of the planets in our solar system, but not in the so-called ice giants Uranus and Neptune.
But they explained that studying X-ray emissions could provide valuable insights into the characteristics of a planet, and that their findings could provide clues about “atmospheric, surface, and planetary ring composition.”
There was research Released Wednesday In the Journal of Geophysical Research.
NASA says Uranus is a particularly intriguing target for X-ray analysis because of its spiral axis and the “extraordinary orientations” of its magnetic field.
Captured by NASA’s Voyager 2 spacecraft in 1986, the planet’s data wealth – the only craft that can fly through the planet – still reveals traces of its decoration.
Last year During the voyage, the spacecraft was also discovered to have flown through a plasmoid – A large magnetic bubble that pinches a part of the planet’s atmosphere and sends it into space.