Astronomy Picture of the Day

Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

May 31, 1999
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Uranus' Moon 18
Credit: Voyager 2, NASA

Explanation: The discovery was there for the taking. An image of Uranus taken by Voyager 2 as it passed the giant planet 13 years ago apparently recorded a moon that had since gone unnoticed. The image on which Uranus' 18th moon was discovered was freely available from NASA. Erich Karkoschka (U. Arizona) noticed the moon when comparing a 1986 photo to a recent one taken by the Hubble Space Telescope. The newly identified moon is hard to see but marked in the above photograph. Also visible are many other Uranian moons and background stars. The moon is the 18th known around Uranus, tying it with Saturn for the most around any planet.

Tomorrow's picture: A Gallery of Gravitational Mirages

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Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (USRA)
NASA Technical Rep.: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply.
A service of: LHEA at NASA/ GSFC
& Michigan Tech. U.