Strange Waves Hint at Hidden Moons of Uranus
Reference by: Sarah Lewin, Staff Writer
October 24, 2016   4:08 AM

Weird waves in Uranus' rings suggest there might be two tiny, unknown moonlets orbiting there.

Researchers know little about the distant, icy planet Uranus compared to other planets in the solar system. Only one spacecraft has flown by it, Voyager 2 in 1986, and scientists have pieced together the rest of their observations through views from Earth-based and orbiting telescopes. The planet has rings — narrower and much darker in color than most of Saturn's, with uneven widths and strange, sharp edges — and is tilted dramatically on its side, giving rise to decades-long seasons and extreme weather patterns.

Uranus has a crowded consortium of at least 27 moons named for literary figures, some orbiting in tight, unstable-looking formations. And now, new analysis of data from the Voyager 2 flyby suggests that two more tiny moons lurk even closer to the planet than those already known.