Hubble Captures Full View of Uranus's Rings on Edge.
Image courtesy NASA, ESA, SETI (M. Showalter)
Until Voyager 2 flew by Uranus in January 1986, the rings were only known from the way they temporarily blocked the light of stars passing behind the planet. Hubble provided some of the first images of the ring system as viewed from Earth's distance of approximately 2 billion miles. The advent of adaptive optics gave ground-based observers using large telescopes comparatively sharp views.