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Harvard Smithsonian Center.
Harvard Smithsonian Center for astrophysics.

Saturn's Rings in Ultraviolet.

The best view ever of Saturn's rings in the ultraviolet indicates there is more ice toward the outer part of the rings, hinting at ring origin and evolution, say two University of Colorado at Boulder researchers involved in the Cassini mission.

Researchers from CU-Boulder's Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics, Joshua Colwell and Larry Esposito, said the UV spectra taken during the Cassini spacecraft's orbital insertion June 30 show definite compositional variation in the A, B and C rings.

Brown Dwarf Pair Discovered.

Astronomers with the Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics have discovered a pair of brown dwarfs circling one another, which should help answer some key questions about these objects. Are they large planets, failed stars, or something else entirely? One theory is that brown dwarfs form in clouds of interstellar gas, but they get ejected before becoming full stars. This pair of brown dwarfs, however, circle one another at 6 times the distance of the Sun and Pluto - their gravitational hold on one another is very tenuous. It's more likely they formed in a calm environment like regular stars.

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