In orbit

Published: Friday 31 July 1998

Satellites around the so-called giant planets in our solar system were thought to be of two broad types: large, regular satellites that are in almost circular equatorial orbits and small, irregular ones that have highly inclined orbits. Till now, the only exception to this was Uranus, which was thought to only have regular satellites. Now a team of astronomers at the Hale Telescope of Palomar Observatory has discovered two satellites orbiting Uranus. Both are unusually red in colour and the astronomers believe that there could be a link between these objects and other red objects discovered recently in what is known as the Kuiper belt at the edge of the solar system (Nature , Vol 392, No 6679).

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