Auroras on Uranus

No I’m not being rude !!!

For the first time, astronomers have snapped photos of auroras lighting up Uranus’s icy atmosphere.

Two fleeting, Earth-size auroral storms were imaged by the Hubble Space Telescope as they flared up on the dayside of the gas giant in November 2011.

Uranus, the seventh planet from the sun, is an oddball world. At some point in its past, the planet appears to have been knocked on its side, so now its “North Pole” sits where the equator on most planets is located.

The newly observed auroras — seen as tiny white dots in the image above — underscore just how strange Uranus really is.

Auroras, also known as the Northern Lights, appear on Earth when the solar wind – a stream of charged particles emanating from the sun — interacts with our planet’s magnetic field. While terrestrial auroras appear as giant green curtains of light and may last hours, the auroras seen recently on Uranus were relatively small and stuck around only a few minutes. Learn more here or here.

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