Researchers estimate the crash happened 3-4 billion years ago. (University of Durham through AP: Jacob A. Kegerreis)
Uranus is an interrupted strangeness, the only planet that revolves on its side. Scientists now think they know how it came about: a stone that is at least twice as big as the Earth is pushed.
- Little is known about an ice giant, who only had short leaflets
- Researchers speculate that the fall could reveal the "missing planet" behind Pluto
- The Uran's magnetic field is also tilted
"Detailed computer simulations show that a huge rock collapsed on the seventh planet from the Sun," said Jacob Kegerreis, a researcher at the Durham astronomy university, who presented his analysis at a major scientific conference on earth and space this month.
Uranus is unique in the Solar System by tilting it 90 degrees on its side. (NASA / ESA: Erich Karkoschka)
"The Uranus is unique in the solar system, and the mass planet is tilted by about 90 degrees on its side as well as its five largest months." His magnetic field is also turned and does not come out of the poles like ours, "NASA chief scientist- e. Jim Green.
"It's the only planet that does not have its internal heat exit from the core. It has rings like Saturn, although weak," said Dr. Green.
"It's very weird," said planetary scientist Carnegie Institution Scott Sheppard, who was not part of the research.
Computer simulations show that the collision and the transformation of Uranus – which may have affected some or all of the rocks that hit it – took place in a few hours, said Kegerreis.
He produced an animation that shows the violent fall and its consequences.
"It's also possible that the large building that ruined Uranium continues to lie in the solar system too far to see it," said Dr. Green.
"It would explain some of the orbits of the planet and fit into the theory that the missing planet Ks circles the Sun far beyond Pluto," he said.
Dr. Green said that it is possible that many smaller space rocks – the size of Pluto – have led to Uranus, but the research of the g. Kegerreisa et al. Sheppard points to a giant unknown suspect.
NASA scientist said that one effect is "right thinking."
Uranus is one of the least understandable planets
The collision occurred 3 billion to 4 billion years ago, probably before the larger months of Uranus.
Instead, there was a disc of material that would ultimately merge to create months.
And when this happened, Uran's unusual slope behaved like a gravitational tidal force that pushed these five big months to the same slope, Kegerreis said.
It would also create an ice shell that kept the inner heat of Uranus, said Kegerreis (Uran's surface is minus 216 degrees Celsius).
Ice is in the center of Uranus and his neighbor Neptune.
More than a decade ago, NASA reclassified these two planets as "ice giants", no longer joining them with other large solar system planets, gas giants Saturn and Jupiter.
Pluto, which is tiny, away from the Sun and is no longer an official planet, has been explored more than Uranus and Neptune.
They only received short leaflets from Voiager 2, a space probe that entered the interstellar space last month.
Uranus and Neptune are "definitely the least understood of planets," said Mr. Sheppard.
But that can change. A robotic probe for one or both planets was high on the last list of desires by top planetary scientists and is likely to be at or near the top of the next list.
Uranus was named after the Greek god of heaven. His name often creates juvenile humor when it is utterly mistaken as a part of the body.
"Nobody laughs when I say Uranus," said Mr Green. "They must say it wrong to laugh."
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