March 5: The Museum in Washington, DC will open today. Due to weather, the Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA is closed.
This false-color view of the rings of Uranus was made from images taken by <I>Voyager 2</I> on January 21, 1986, from a distance of 2.59 million miles. All nine of the planet?s known rings are visible, although the fainter pastel lines seen between the rings are the result of computer enhancement. Six fifteen-second narrow-angle images were used to extract color information from the extremely dark and faint rings. This image shows that the brightest, or epsilon, ring at top is neutral in color and that the colors vary in the eight fainter rings. Uranus?s delta, gamma, and eta rings are also visible in shades of blue and green, followed by the beta and alpha rings in somewhat lighter tones and the final set of three rings in off-white tones. Scientists use this color information to understand the nature and origin of the rings? material.