One might think that planetary-wide rings are something quite rare. It turns out they are quite common, as Uranus has them too, among other planets in the solar system. Unlike those belonging to Saturn, the Uranus rings are less prominent, having only been spotted in the ‘70s.
Chile’s Very Large Telescope and Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) gives scientists a unique perspective on Uranus rings. Heat images have been captured with the help of the sensitive instruments on ALMA. These images have brought of further study on the Uranus rings. The planet is extremely cold, being on the edge of the solar system, but its rings are quite a bit warmer than what was expected — giving a thermal reading on instruments.
Nobody is making travel plans to sit on those rocks and orbit the planet though. As warm for the rings means -321 degrees Fahrenheit. Compared to the -370 degrees found on the actual planet.
Scientists shed more light on Uranus rings
The most visible of the Uranus rings has been designated Epsilon and is an object of study, comparing it to the rings of Saturn, which are broad and mainly icy with a full range of particle size.
Saturn has layers of rings with objects that range from dust particles to the size of trucks. Uranus lacks that much diversity, differing only from gold balls to small Toyotas in size.
Something that is still puzzling scientists, wishing to find the cause for the missing rings. Edward Molter, the lead author of the study, has said: “We already know that the epsilon ring is a bit weird because we don’t see the smaller stuff. Something has been sweeping the smaller stuff out, or it’s all glomming together. We just don’t know. This is a step toward understanding their composition and whether all of the rings came from the same source material, or are different for each ring.”