Astronomers have detected X-rays from Uranus for the very first time.
The discovery could now aid them in their quest to learn more about the seventh planet from the sun.
The news was revealed in a study published by the Journal of Geophysical Research on Wednesday.
It says that scientists from the UK, France, America and China had detected X-rays emitted by the planet by using visuals taken by a NASA a space telescope – Chandra X-ray Observatory.
They used the the Chandra observatory to study observations taken in 2002 and 2017 which detected the X-rays in the first observation.
NASA said a flare of X-rays was observed 15 years later.
The study says Uranus and Neptune were the only planets in the solar system where X-rays had not been detected before.
Uranus is a giant, icy planet made up almost entirely of hydrogen and helium.
It is about four times the diameter of Earth and has two sets of rings around its equator.
The planet is unique in the solar system as it rotates on its side, nearly parallel to its path around the Sun.
Scientists have observed scattered X-ray lights from the sun on both Jupiter and Saturn but not on Uranus or Neptune.
NASA said that the cause for Uranus emitting X-rays was “mainly the sun” which is the same as Jupiter and Saturn.
However a statement from NASA added that “there are tantalising hints that at least one other source of X-rays is present”, something that, if confirmed, “could have intriguing implications for understanding Uranus”.
The planet’s rings could be producing the X-rays and Uranus is surrounded by electrons and protons nearby.
This means if the electrons and protons collide with the rings it could cause them to glow and emit X-rays.
NASA said another possibility is that the X-rays have come from auroras on the planet.
Other auroras on Earth and the bright colours seen in the northern lights are a result of high-energy particles interacting with the atmosphere.
On Earth, these auroras emit X-rays because electrons travel down magnetic field lines to the poles and are slowed down by the atmosphere.
But scientists are unsure about what causes auroras on Uranus.
Because the planet has an unusual axis this means the auroras there could be “unusually complex and variable”.
NASA said working out where the X-rays have come from could give astronomers clues about “more exotic objects in space, like growing black holes and neutron stars”.