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    Auroras on Uranus: Hubble Captures Bursts of Wind on Gas Giant

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    The US Space Agency NASA have spotted something rather strange coming from Uranus. The Hubble Space telescope has taken images of a shimmering region on the planet, which is causing a powerful bursts of solar wind.

    The planet Uranus has always been seen as just a featureless ball of blue and green gas, but it appears there is more to the planet then meets the eye. 

    Pictures released by NASA show how bright auroras light up the planet's atmosphere. 

    Uranus' auroras are driven by the same basic processes that cause auroras planet Earth, which are also known as the northern and southern lights. 

    A spokesperson for NASA has said that auroras is caused by streams of charged particles from various solar winds. 

    "The planetary ionosphere, and moon volcanism. They become caught in powerful magnetic fields and are channeled into the upper atmosphere, where their interactions with gas particles, such as oxygen or nitrogen, set off spectacular bursts of light," a spokesperson for NASA wrote in an online statement. 

    ​Uranus is not the first gas giant to experience auroras — Jupiter and Saturn are also lucky to have them and they have so far been extensively studied, however not much is known about the auroras on Uranus. 

    In 2011, NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) Hubble Space Telescope became the first Earth-based telescope to snap an image of the auroras on Uranus.

    In 2012 and 2014, a team led by an astronomer from Paris Observatory took a second look at the auroras, using the ultraviolet capabilities of the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (STIS), which is also installed on Hubble.

    A recent Hubble Space Telescope (HST) view reveals Uranus surrounded by its 4 major rings and 10 of its 17 known satellites
    © East News / Universal History Archive/Universal Images Group
    ​NASA was able to track the interplanetary shocks caused by two powerful bursts of solar wind traveling from the sun to Uranus.

    They used Hubble to capture their effect on the gas giant and ended up observing the most intense auroras ever seen on the planet. By watching the auroras over time, they collected the first direct evidence that these powerful shimmering regions rotate with the planet.

    According to experts at NASA this new data and information will help them to be able to understand more about the planet. 

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    Tags:
    aurora, Hubble Space Telescope, light, atmosphere, image, planets, wind, astrophysics, astronomy, space exploration, science, space, European Space Agency (ESA), NASA, Uranus
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