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Hubble telescope captures auroras on Uranus


15:22, April 17, 2012

BEIJING, April 17(Xinhuanet) -- Scientists have captured the auroras on Uranus for the first time by using the Hubble Space Telescope, according to media reports Tuesday.

Different from the auroras on Earth, which turn the sky into green and purple for several hours, Uranus auroras gleam faintly for only several minutes, according to the new observation.

Auroras are actually the result of the charged solar wind particles interacting with the planet's magnetic field, it said.

Auroras on Jupiter and Saturn have been well studied by scientists, but very little about the Uranus auroras is known, said Laurent Lamy with the Paris Observatory in Meudon, France, who led the new research.

The observation was significant as the unique configuration of Uranus, in which, a salty ocean was believed to generate the magnetic field for the giant icy planet, she explained.

Scientists hope that further analysis of the observed data may help to better understand the function of planets' magnetospheres.


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