One Ring, Two Ring, Red Ring, Blue Ring

Who says scientists don’t have a sense of humor? Imke de Pater, Heidi B. Hammel, Seran G. Gibbard, and Mark R. Showalter published an article about the color of the outermost rings of Uranus in the 7 April 2006 issue of Science, one of the world’s most widely-read and important scientific journals, and they gave it a subtitle drawn from Dr. Seuss.

Comparing near-infrared and Hubble space telescope observations, the researchers found that two recently discovered outer rings of Uranus were red and blue in color. Since my young readers’ biography of Heidi Hammel has just appeared in paperback, the discovery deserves to be celebrated here.

I also maintain website pages of updates on Heidi’s life and research, where further details about this discovery are included, and Heidi’s astronomy FAQ.


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