Uranus' Rings in False Color
Date: 21 Jan 1986
This false-color view of the rings of Uranus was made by combining images taken by Voyager 2 on 21 Jan. 1986, from a distance of 4.17 million km (2.59 million miles). All nine known rings are visible here; the somewhat fainter, pastel lines seen between them are contributed by the computer enhancement. Six 15-second narrow-angle images were used to extract color information from the extremely dark and faint rings. Two images each in the green, clear and violet filters were added together and averaged to find the proper color differences between the rings. The final image was made from these three color averages and represents an enhanced, false-color view.
The image shows that the brightest, or epsilon, ring at top is neutral in color, with the fainter eight other rings showing color differences between them. Moving down, toward Uranus, we see the delta, gamma and eta rings in shades of blue and green; the beta and alpha rings in somewhat lighter tones; and then a final set of three, known simply as the 4, 5 and 6 rings, in faint off-white tones. The resolution of this image is approximately 40 km (25 mi).
The Voyager project is managed for NASA by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Last Update: 7 Apr 2011 (AMB)