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D. A Second Blue Planetary Ring Discovered in Our Solar System

Narrator: This is Science Today. Researchers have discovered the second known blue ring in the solar system. This bright blue, outer ring is circling Uranus, the solar system's seventh planet. Physicist Seran Gibbard of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, who took part in the discovery, says the only other known example of a blue ring is around Saturn.

Gibbard: On Saturn, we know the source of the blue ring, which is a moon called Enceladus and actually, it was just found out recently by the Cassini spacecraft, which is at Saturn right now, that Enceladus is actually emitting these particles. No one knows why it is, but it's spitting out particles that are very small. That's what makes them look blue small particles look blue.

Narrator: Uranus also has a moon called Mab that's associated with its blue ring.

Gibbard: It's believed that what's going on there is just that meteorites are striking the moon and kicking up this dust that then goes on to form the ring.

Narrator: This research indicates that the similarity between Saturn and Uranus' outer rings may be due to a similar production mechanism for both rings. For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin .