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October 25, 2011

Series of Bumps Sent Uranus Into Its Sideways Spin, New Research Suggests

Uranus' highly tilted axis (98 degrees) makes it an oddball in our Solar System. The most widely accepted theory of how this tilt came to be was that Uranus was knocked on its side by a single large impact. However, new research presented at the EPSC-DPS Joint Meeting in Nantes rewrites that theory of how Uranus became so tilted and it also sheds light on the position and orbits of its moons and how they came to be. Using simulations of planetary formation and collisions, it seems that in Uranus' early life it experienced a succession of small impacts instead of the one huge impact.

Source: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111006084235.htm

Posted by brendaac at October 25, 2011 02:20 PM

Comments

I like how closely this relates to what we have been learning in class. Very interesting

Posted by: derbach at October 27, 2011 03:14 PM

And here I am in class thinking, "No way an ASTEROID could do that...". Very interesting article, thanks for the share!

Posted by: tmthirty at October 30, 2011 11:15 PM

Uranus' tilted axis is very interesting because it causes extreme changes in seasons. The sideways rotation causes long periods of sunlight and darkness. It is very interesting to understand the causes of this.

Posted by: mikeeng at October 31, 2011 11:37 PM

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