How many rings does Uranus have?

Science Illustrated - - ASK US -

When Galileo Galilei aimed a tele­scope at Sat­urn in 1610, he ob­served a num­ber of ob­jects around the planet that later turned out to be rings. In 1977, as­tronomers dis­cov­ered that Uranus also has rings that prob­a­bly con­sist of ice and dust.

In the first place, 5-6 rings were iden­ti­fied, but when the Voy­ager 2 space probe pho­tographed the planet in 1986, the num­ber in­creased to 11. In 2005, as­tronomers used the Hub­ble tele­scope to spot an­other two rings, so Uranus now has 13 known rings.

The rings are hard to oberve, as most of them are dark and only some 100 m thick. They are lo­cated 14,00072,000 km from the planet. The other huge plan­ets of the So­lar Sys­tem, Jupiter and Nep­tune, also have rings, which were dis­cov­ered in 1979 and 1989, re­spec­tively.

Just like Sat­urn, Uranus is sur­rounded by rings which are a few km wide. The rings con­sist of ob­jects with di­am­e­ters of 0.2-20 m.

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