Rings of Uranus


  • Anonymous


Using sophisticated computer enhancement techniques, two astronomers have been able to clearly “photograph” the rings of Uranus (Figure 1). The photographs show that the rings are made of particles that are perhaps the darkest found in the solar system. Creating clear images of the rings is a feat that has proved extremely difficult in the past because the rings are darker than charcoal and are very close to the much-brighter Uranus.

The astronomers, Bradford A. Smith of the University of Arizona and Richard J. Terrile of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), used a camera equipped with a charge-coupled device (CCD) to record the image at the Carnegie Institution's Las Companas Observatory in the Andes mountains in Chile.