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Edge-on view of rings of Uranus
Posted: Fri, Aug 24, 2007, 9:43 AM ET (1343 GMT)
Uranus rings seen edge on (dePater/Hammel/Keck Obs.) Telescopes on Earth and in space have observed the rings of Uranus as they appear edge-on from Earth, an event that takes place only once every 42 years. The observations, from the Hubble Space Telescope, Keck Observatory, and European Southern Observatory, allowed astronomers to study the rings as they appeared as only a thin line. Astronomers reviewing the observations found that the rings had changed considerably since Voyager 2 flew by the planet in 1986, including an inner ring that has either moved or been replaced by new one in a different location. The inner rings in general are also more prominent than in the past. The results, announced at a European conference this week, also appeared in the online edition of the journal Science.
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