The Hubble space telescope has seen a huge shimmering area on Uranus — and it is brought on by strong bursts of solar wind.
Researchers from the Paris Observatory used the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope to have a look at the auroras on Uranus, which are brought on by flows of charged particles such as electrons which come from various origins like solar storms, the planetary ionosphere, and moon volcanism.
How Uranus was nearly called Georgium Sidus
Uranus was discovered in 1781 by astronomer William Herschel, who initially thought it was a comet or a celebrity. He wanted to name it Georgium Sidus, after King George III but it was finally named after Uranus, the Greek god of the skies, as indicated by astronomer Johann Bode, who had been instrumental in exercising Uranus was indeed a world.
The particles become trapped in strong magnetic fields and are channelled into the upper air, where their interactions with gas particles, such as nitrogen or oxygen, put off spectacular bursts of light.
The initial pictures of Uranus taken from Earth were taken in 2011 from the NASA Hubble.
They monitored the interplanetary shocks caused by 2 strong bursts of solar wind travelling from sunlight to Uranus, then used Hubble to catch their impact on Uranus’ auroras — and found themselves celebrating the very intense auroras ever seen on Earth.
By viewing the auroras over time, they gathered the first direct proof that these potent shimmering areas rotate with the world.