Mysteries Of Planet Uranus Unlocked As Scientists Discover Two New Moons Along The Planet’s Orbit
In an attempt to study the old data captured by Voyager-2 spacecraft, scientists have discovered two dark moons around the F-rings of the Uranus planet. This discovery has led to the increase in the number of satellites possessed by Uranus from 27 to 29.
According to reports by The Te Cake, the discovery comes as a surprise since it was found in the data collected by the Voyager-2 spacecraft in the year 1986. Researchers from the University of Idaho rechecked the data and discovered something hidden between the 13 rings of Uranus-Alpha and Beta. Following a close examination, it was found that these rings show a wavy series of patterns consistent with the presence of two tiny moons.
The two Idaho researchers, Rob Chancia and Matthew Hedman, have revealed that the pattern detected in the Alpha and Beta rings are similar to those caused by some of Uranus's other moons such as Cordelia and Ophelia. The team will be inspecting the planet Uranus using the Hubble Space Telescope in order to obtain more information, reported Science Alert.
In addition, Mark Showalter from the SETI Institute in California who has been involved in the discovery of moons of the Uranus earlier was quoted saying "Hubble is the best bet for finding these new Uranian satellites, but if that fails, maybe it would be time for Uranus to get its own orbiter mission which we are totally on board with."
Scientists believe that the two moons went unnoticed in the past because Uranus was located very far from the Earth and the moons were too small and dark to be clearly visible to astronomers in the past. Results suggest that these satellites are found orbiting exterior to the rings of Uranus. The diameters of the two moons measure between two miles and nine miles. Owing to this small size and the lack of advanced image processing technology, these satellites were left undiscovered earlier.