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LOOK: Hubble Space Telescope Spotted Massive Auroras on Uranus

Apr 13, 2017 02:55 PM EDT
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Nasa releases stunning aurora time-lapse video captured from space
FILE PHOTO Rings Of The Planet Uranus Photographed In Near-Infrared
Uranus produces auroras almost similar to the Northern Lights.
(Photo : ESO/Getty Images)

Unlike Jupiter or Mars, there are not a lot of exciting findings on Uranus. However, the massive ice giant has some spectacular show to offer just like the auroras on Earth.

Observations from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope and Voyager 2 probe captured and explained the light show on the planet that's strikingly similar to the Northern Lights. Experts say that Uranus sometimes experience light shows of this kind.

"Auroras are caused by streams of charged particles like electrons that come from various origins such as solar winds, the planetary ionosphere, and moon volcanism," a NASA official wrote in a caption.

The colors of the planet appear to change due to the particles colliding with Uranus' magnetic field and gas atoms in the upper atmosphere. The collision gives off light that could be detected as an aurora.

Solar winds are particularly responsible for this. They are full of plasma charged with particles straight from the sun. Solar winds make Uranus create the astonishing show.

Scientists already tried to make a model by tracking solar wind bursts and they managed to produce auroras. Lights like these are not exclusive on Earth and Uranus. Other planets have their own version of lights show that could originate from many different sources.

Reports say that in Jupiter, its moon Io causes auroras, too. The light show or auroras in Uranus are the least studied ones. Admittedly, there aren't a lot of missions geared towards studying the auroras and even Uranus itself.

In fact, a 1980s photograph of the planet is still the best ever taken of Uranus. Initial study suggests that it could be a smooth disk. However, further analysis shows intriguing features on its surface.

Cassini could have made a detour to Uranus, but unfortunately, it wasn't approved. This is why there is very little information about the planet. So the auroras in Uranus will remain a mystery until a probe flies close enough to capture them in details.

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