Sunday, July 14, 2024

Astronomers have discovered a polar aurora on Uranus


Information / Baghdad..
Astronomers from the University of Leicester have confirmed for the first time the existence of infrared auroras on Uranus’ cold exoplanet.
The discovery could also shed light on the secrets of the strange magnetic fields of our solar system’s planets and whether distant worlds could support life.
The team obtained the first measurements of Uranus’ infrared aurora since investigations began in 1992.
Although Uranus’ ultraviolet aurora has been observed since 1986, confirmation of an infrared aurora has never been seen.
The ice giants Uranus and Neptune are unusual planets in our solar system because their magnetic fields are not aligned with their spin axes. Although scientists have yet to find an explanation, Uranus’ aurora borealis may hold clues.
Auroras are caused by high-energy charged particles that are driven downward and collide with the planet’s atmosphere along the planet’s magnetic field lines.
On Earth, the most famous result of this process is the display of the northern and southern lights. However, on planets like Uranus, whose atmosphere is mostly a mixture of hydrogen and helium, these auroras emit light outside the visible spectrum and at wavelengths such as infrared.
The team used infrared aurora measurements captured by analyzing specific wavelengths of light emitted by the planet using the Keck II telescope. From this, they could analyze the light (known as emission lines) from these planets.Done / 25 AD

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Stuart Wagner
Stuart Wagner
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