Technology Object twice size of Earth hit Uranus and caused it to tilt

16:02  03 july  2018
16:02  03 july  2018 Source:   news.sky.com

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Researchers said that Uranus was in a cataclysmic collision with an object twice the mass of earth . The research confirms a previous study which said that Uranus ' tilted position was caused by a collision with a massive object - most likely a young proto-planet made of rock and ice - during the

The research confirms a previous study which said that Uranus ' tilted position was caused by a collision with a massive object - most "Our findings confirm that the most likely outcome was that the young Uranus was involved in a cataclysmic collision with an object twice the mass of Earth , if not

This is an image of the planet Uranus taken by the spacecraft Voyager 2. NASA's Voyager 2 spacecraft flew closely past distant Uranus, the seventh planet from the Sun, in January 1986. © Press Release This is an image of the planet Uranus taken by the spacecraft Voyager 2. NASA's Voyager 2 spacecraft flew closely past distant Uranus, the seventh planet from the Sun, in January 1986.

The planet Uranus was given its tilt after being hit in a "cataclysmic collision" by a massive object roughly twice the size of Earth, new research has suggested.

A study by researchers at Durham University believe that a collision in the planet's history left it rotating on a tilt - potentially explaining its freezing temperatures.

Uranus is unique among the solar system's planets for rotating on an axis set almost 90 degrees off of the sun's orbital plane, meaning its poles experience 42 years of continuous sunlight and darkness over the course of its orbit.

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Uranus was hit by a massive object roughly twice the size of Earth that caused the planet to tilt and could explain its freezing temperatures, according to new research.

Research led by Durham University, UK, confirms that a massive object roughly twice the size of Earth hit Uranus about 4 billion years ago and caused the planet's unusual tilt . The collision could explain Uranus ' freezing temperatures.

The collision with Uranus of a massive object twice the size of Earth that caused the planet's unusual spin, from a high-resolution simulation using over ten million particles, coloured by their internal energy. Credit: Jacob Kegerreis/Durham University © Press Release The collision with Uranus of a massive object twice the size of Earth that caused the planet's unusual spin, from a high-resolution simulation using over ten million particles, coloured by their internal energy. Credit: Jacob Kegerreis/Durham University

Running high-resolution computer simulations of different collisions with the ice giant, the team attempted to establish how the planet evolved.

Their work, published in The Astrophysical Journal, confirms a previous study which stated that its tilted position was most likley caused by a collision with a massive proto-planet made of rock and ice.

The collision is believed to have taken place during the formation of the solar system about four billion years ago.

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A planet twice the size of Earth gave our most unfortunately named planet its odd tilt . Such an object would have been sufficient mass and size to create a big collision, but small enough to strip Uranus of less than 10 percent of its atmosphere.

[/caption] The Earth ’s axis is tilted about 23.5 degrees. This is why we have seasons on Earth . What could have caused Uranus to be tilted over on its side like this? Astronomers think that a large protoplanet smashed into Uranus billions of years ago. Size of Uranus .

According to the simulation, debris from the proto-planet probably forms a thin shell near the edge of the ice layer on the outside of Uranus - trapping the heat at its core.

green planet in the universe with aura and stars. © Getty green planet in the universe with aura and stars.

The trapping of this internal heat might explain the extremely cold temperature of Uranus's outer atmosphere of -216 C (-357 F), according to the researchers.

The paper's lead author, Mr Jacob Kegerreis, a PhD researcher, said: "Uranus spins on its side, with its axis pointing almost at right angles to those of all the other planets in the solar system.

"This was almost certainly caused by a giant impact, but we know very little about how this actually happened and how else such a violent event affected the planet.

Graphical representation of our Solar system © Getty Graphical representation of our Solar system

"We ran more than 50 different impact scenarios using a high-powered super computer to see if we could recreate the conditions that shaped the planet's evolution.

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"The fact that Uranus was hit at least twice suggests that significant impacts were typical in the Uranus is a real oddball in our solar system. Its spin axis is tilted by a whopping 98 degrees The accepted wisdom had been that a single object several times more massive than Earth did the

The reason for Uranus 's unusual axial tilt is also not known with certainty, but the usual speculation is that during the formation of the Solar System, an Earth - sized protoplanet One of the hypotheses for this discrepancy suggests that when Uranus was hit by a supermassive impactor, which caused it to

"Our findings confirm that the most likely outcome was that the young Uranus was involved in a cataclysmic collision with an object twice the mass of Earth, if not larger, knocking it on to its side and setting in process the events that helped create the planet we see today."

Artwork of an asteroid hitting earth. © Getty Artwork of an asteroid hitting earth.

Scientists have been puzzled as to how Uranus managed to retain any atmosphere at all after the violent collision, but the simulations have suggested an anwer.

A glancing glow, rather than a direct hit, would have been strong enough to create the planet's tilt, but Uranus would have retained the majority of its atmosphere.

Gallery: stunning photos from space (Photo Services)

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