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First X-rays from Uranus


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Text, News From The Universe. April 8, 2021
First X-rays from Uranus
The ice giant planet Uranus is the only planet in the Solar System that rotates on its side.
This unique orientation makes the first detections of X-rays from Uranus all the more intriguing.
X-ray light detected by NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory, shown in pink, has a few potential sources.
Image, a pink bulge sits centered on Uranus' equator.

Text, Scattered X-ray light from the Sun is a likely source.
The X-rays could be emitted when energetic particles collide with the planet's rings, as on Saturn.
Or, the X-rays may be from Uranus' auroras, which are more complex than usual, due to the planet's tilt.
These first X-ray detections are the beginning of a new way of understanding one of the most unique planets in our solar system.
This news was brought to you in part by the Chandra X-ray Center in Cambridge, MA