Befuddling X-Rays Blazing Out Of Uranus
Uranus. Ok...I giggled. But scientifically speaking this is big news. Scientists have X-rays coming from Uranus. Ok...I giggled again. Sorry.
This is actually a big deal. Uranus is the 7th planet from the sun in our solar system. In case you don't have the order memorized the order goes Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and if you are still holding that Pluto is a planet...then Pluto.
Uranus is composed of mostly ice and gases and really gets a bad wrap because of its unfortunate name. The planet was named after the Greek god of the sky, Uranus, who was the grandfather of Zeus the God of Sky and Thunder. Too bad they didn't name the planet Zeus.
Anyway, researchers have discovered X-rays being emitted by the planet Uranus by using the NASA Chandra X-ray Observatory and Keck-1 Telescope in Hawaii.
Some of the X-rays are seemingly caused by the planet scattering sunlight which is also done by Saturn and Jupiter. But there are other X-rays blasting from Uranus that scientists can't explain.
So why would it be a big deal if they could figure out exactly what is going on with these rays? According to NASA.gov, “Determining the sources of the X-rays from Uranus could help astronomers better understand how more exotic objects in space, such as growing black holes and neutron stars, emit X-rays.”
Learning stuff about space is cool. I hope if they do discover new planets they think of a better name than Uranus. I giggled again...