Uranus May Have Two More Undiscovered Moons


#Uranus #Moon – Uranus May Have Two More Undiscovered Moons : Astronomers have recently detected wavy patterns in two of Uranus’s dark rings, which could indicate the presence of two undiscovered moons, after reportedly re-examining the data acquired by the Voyager 2 spacecraft. The gas giant planet hosts 27 natural satellites, a number which could soon increase if the presence of two more moons is confirmed.

Uranus is around 20 times farther from the sun than our planet which makes it difficult to observe directly. The Voyager 2 spacecraft had flown by the planet in 1986, and found 10 moons during the course of its flyby. However, it seems that we still do not know the exact number of natural satellites that orbit the planet.

While re-examining old data from the Voyager 2 mission, scientists Matthew Hedman and Rob Chancia from the University of Idaho detected a peculiarity in two of the 13 rings of Uranus, called Alpha and Beta respectively.

The duo noticed a series of wavy patterns that implied the presence of two small moons. “These patterns may be wakes from small moonlets orbiting exterior to these rings,” write the researchers in their study,” said the researchers.

In addition, the observations made for the probable existence of two more moons go with how the other moons of Uranus, such as Ophelia and Cordelia exert gravitational pressure on the ice, rocks and dust within the rings, driving the particles along a narrow formation.

The researching team added that if the two undiscovered moons exist, then they will be really tiny and dark with a measurement of just two to nine miles across.

The small size of the two moons is why Voyager 2 wasn’t able to discover them; also the two undiscovered satellites would be smaller than any of Uranus’s other moons, as per reports. The two scientists have planned to conduct further observations with the Hubble Space Telescope to gain more evidence about the existence of the two undiscovered moons of Uranus. Source: Scienceworldreport