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November 29, 2012 | By Jon Bardin
The moons revolving around Uranus and Neptune may have been formed from large rings that used to surround the planets. According to a report published Thursday in the journal Science , such rings may in fact be the source of most moons in the solar system. The analysis is based on a mathematical model of moon formation created by the study's authors, Aurélien Crida and Sébastien Charnoz, who work at the Université de Nice Sophiaantipolis in Nice, France, and the Sorbonne in Paris.
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SCIENCE
March 26, 2014 | By Deborah Netburn
Scientists have discovered a double ring system around an icy, dark asteroid in the outer solar system. The discovery marks the first time rings have been found around any object that is not a planet. The findings were published Wednesday in the journal Nature. “It was a very exciting experience,” Jose L. Ortiz told the Los Angeles Times by email. Ortiz, of the Instituto de Astrofisica de Adalucia, is one of the authors of the paper. “I almost jumped out of my seat!” Observations made with seven different telescopes in June 2013 suggest that the two rings are dense and thin.
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SCIENCE
May 16, 2013 | By Amina Khan
Inscrutable ice giants Neptune and Uranus have only a thin rind of windy weather over their fluid contents, a team of planetary scientists say. The research published in the journal Nature relies on decades-old data from the Voyager 2 spacecraft -- and may help scientists understand the atmospheric dynamics of alien gas-giant exoplanets beyond our solar system. Although Neptune and Uranus are members of our own planetary neighborhood, their atmospheric dynamics have remained a mystery shrouded in thick cloud, said study coauthor Adam Showman, a planetary scientist at the University of Arizona in Tucson.
SCIENCE
March 26, 2014 | By Deborah Netburn
In a first, scientists have detected rings encircling an M&M-shaped asteroid known as Chariklo. Until now, only the solar system's four gas planets - Jupiter, Neptune, Uranus and especially Saturn - were known to have rings. "It was an extremely surprising discovery," said James Bauer, a planetary astronomer at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Cañada Flintridge who was not involved in the finding. "No one has ever seen rings around a comet or an asteroid before. This is a brand-new area.
SCIENCE
August 29, 2013 | By Eryn Brown, This post has been corrected, as indicated below.
Planetary scientists have detected a Trojan -- an asteroid-like object that shares a planet's orbit -- circling the sun ahead of Uranus. The discovery of 2011 QF 99 , the first of its kind for the ice giant planet, was reported Thursday in the journal Science . According to first author Mike Alexandersen, a doctoral student in astronomy at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, it happened almost by accident....
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 1, 1999
Springtime on Uranus is no picnic--it brings huge storms with brightly colored clouds and temperatures of 300 degrees below zero Fahrenheit, according to new pictures from the Hubble Space Telescope. "No one has ever seen this view in the modern era of astronomy because of the long year of Uranus--more than 84 Earth years," Heidi Hammel of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology said. It will not be summer on Uranus until 2007, when the sun will be right over the planet's equator.
NEWS
January 30, 1986 | United Press International
The seven newly discovered moons of the planet Uranus should be named after the seven crew members who died in the explosion of the shuttle Challenger, Rep. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) said Wednesday. Nelson, who flew on the previous shuttle mission, told the House that he will introduce legislation to name the moons recently discovered by the unmanned U.S. spacecraft Voyager 2. The action would be "one way of keeping etched the memory of these seven brave astronauts," Nelson said.
NEWS
January 24, 1986 | LEE DYE, Times Science Writer
Voyager 2, speeding toward its closest encounter with Uranus this morning, has detected bursts of natural radio waves emitted by the gaseous planet, giving scientists a valuable new tool to help unlock its secrets. The spacecraft, which will pass within about 50,000 miles of Uranus's cloud tops at exactly 50 seconds past 9:58 a.m. today, picked up the first burst of natural radiation on Monday, scientists at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena said Thursday.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 20, 2011 | By Thomas H. Maugh II, Los Angeles Times
James Elliot, the MIT astronomer who discovered the rings of Uranus and the faint atmosphere of Pluto, died March 3 at his home in Wellesley, Mass. He was 67 and had been suffering from cancer. The rings of Uranus are narrow and faint and not observable from Earth. Pluto not only is small, but it is on the outer fringes of the solar system, making it equally difficult to view its atmosphere directly. Elliot relied on an indirect technique called stellar occultation, in which astronomers watch a planet or other astronomical object very carefully as it passes in front of a star.
NEWS
January 17, 1986 | LEE DYE, Times Science Writer
The Voyager 2 spacecraft, streaking toward its encounter with Uranus next Friday morning, has discovered six additional moons orbiting the distant planet, scientists at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory announced Thursday. The discovery of the small moons, ranging in size from 20 to 30 miles in diameter, doubles the number of known satellites orbiting the planet.
SCIENCE
August 29, 2013 | By Eryn Brown, This post has been corrected, as indicated below.
Planetary scientists have detected a Trojan -- an asteroid-like object that shares a planet's orbit -- circling the sun ahead of Uranus. The discovery of 2011 QF 99 , the first of its kind for the ice giant planet, was reported Thursday in the journal Science . According to first author Mike Alexandersen, a doctoral student in astronomy at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, it happened almost by accident....
SCIENCE
May 16, 2013 | By Amina Khan
Inscrutable ice giants Neptune and Uranus have only a thin rind of windy weather over their fluid contents, a team of planetary scientists say. The research published in the journal Nature relies on decades-old data from the Voyager 2 spacecraft -- and may help scientists understand the atmospheric dynamics of alien gas-giant exoplanets beyond our solar system. Although Neptune and Uranus are members of our own planetary neighborhood, their atmospheric dynamics have remained a mystery shrouded in thick cloud, said study coauthor Adam Showman, a planetary scientist at the University of Arizona in Tucson.
SCIENCE
April 29, 2013 | By Amina Khan
Astronomers knew this day would come. The Herschel Space Observatory has run out of coolant and ceased looking into the cold, distant universe. Without liquid helium to keep the instruments chilled to minus 456 degrees Fahrenheit, the European Space Agency telescope began to run a fever and went blind, leading scientists on Monday to shutter this floating window into space. Launched in 2009, the European Space Agency telescope fixed its infrared eyes on cold, distant regions of the universe, picking up the glow from far-off objects that would have remained invisible otherwise.
SCIENCE
November 29, 2012 | By Jon Bardin
The moons revolving around Uranus and Neptune may have been formed from large rings that used to surround the planets. According to a report published Thursday in the journal Science , such rings may in fact be the source of most moons in the solar system. The analysis is based on a mathematical model of moon formation created by the study's authors, Aurélien Crida and Sébastien Charnoz, who work at the Université de Nice Sophiaantipolis in Nice, France, and the Sorbonne in Paris.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 20, 2011 | By Thomas H. Maugh II, Los Angeles Times
James Elliot, the MIT astronomer who discovered the rings of Uranus and the faint atmosphere of Pluto, died March 3 at his home in Wellesley, Mass. He was 67 and had been suffering from cancer. The rings of Uranus are narrow and faint and not observable from Earth. Pluto not only is small, but it is on the outer fringes of the solar system, making it equally difficult to view its atmosphere directly. Elliot relied on an indirect technique called stellar occultation, in which astronomers watch a planet or other astronomical object very carefully as it passes in front of a star.
SCIENCE
December 24, 2005 | From Associated Press
Astronomers aided by the Hubble Space Telescope have spied two more rings encircling Uranus, the first additions to the planet's ring system in nearly two decades. The faint, dusty rings orbit outside of Uranus' previously known rings, but within the orbits of its large moons, said Mark Showalter, an astronomer at the SETI Institute in Mountain View, Calif., who made the discovery. Details appeared online Friday in the journal Science.
NEWS
January 26, 1986 | LEE DYE, Times Science Writer
Uranus is emerging as a strange planet that glows from within in a phenomenon that scientists are calling "electroglow," and it has a bizarre magnetic field that helps keep its narrow rings extraordinarily well defined, scientists reported Saturday at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The new findings have been combed from the flood of data sent back to Earth from the Voyager 2 spacecraft, which is more than 1.
OPINION
February 2, 1986
A few days ago there was some speculation on what to name the new moons of the planet Uranus. I think now we have seven of these names. GERARD E. FRITZE South Gate
SCIENCE
November 13, 2004 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
Uranus' rings are unique in that they are only one layer thick, according to new observations made with the Keck II telescope in Hawaii. Jupiter's rings, in contrast, are much thicker. The team, from the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo., also spotted an inner ring, the eleventh, that had been seen only once in an image taken by the Voyager 2 spacecraft in 1986. The rings are composed of large boulders, but they are only one rock thick.
SCIENCE
September 27, 2003 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
The Hubble Space Telescope has discovered two tiny moons about the size of San Francisco orbiting Uranus. The moons are eight to 10 miles across and so faint they were not detected by the Voyager 2 spacecraft, which discovered several other small moons when it flew past Uranus in 1986. They are the first small inner moons discovered in more than 50 years and part of a swarm of more than a dozen moons orbiting near the giant gas planet.
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