Social Anxiety Support Forum banner
1 - 20 of 21 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,274 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·

Uranus isn't just gassy, it's also tilted completely sideways, such that instead of rotating like a spinning top, it rolls around the plane of the solar system more like a giant ball. Now astronomers think they know how this happened, and it means that Uranus has been pounded really, really hard not once, but twice.

Uranus' axial tilt of 98 degrees means that it's got one pole pointed almost directly at the sun, and one pole pointed out into space. As the planet revolves around the sun, these poles slowly switch places, meaning that if you lived there, you'd get 42 years of sunlight followed by 42 years of darkness, with a short time in between where things would seem almost normal.

Needless to say, this sort of behavior is a bit strange for Uranus, although nobody's quite been able to determine how it happened. New simulations from astronomers at the Observatory of Côte d'Azur in Nice, France may have just figured it out, and the answer seems to be that Uranus has suffered from not one but two giant impacts.

The only reliable way to change the tilt of one planet is to smash it with another planet of comparable size. While planets running into other planets isn't something that happens very often nowadays, back in the tempestuous youth of the solar system, it was relatively common: a planet the size of Mars hitting Earth four and a half billion years ago probably blasted off enough stuff to form the moon, for example. But with Uranus, one collision big enough to knock the entire planet sideways would also have screwed up Uranus' system of moons, which isn't the case.
More: http://dvice.com/archives/2011/10/we-now-know-why.php
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
370 Posts
That title reminds me of a Betty White quote. :haha
Sorry for being so immature, it is an interesting article, although I don't know nearly enough about astronomy to make an intelligent comment. Thanks for sharing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
154,233 Posts
That title reminds me of a Betty White quote. :haha
Sorry for being so immature, it is an interesting article, although I don't know nearly enough about astronomy to make an intelligent comment. Thanks for sharing.
Well, what was the quote? :lol
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
154,233 Posts
I have to say that the collisions look pretty all glowing like that :).
It has a tilt of 98 degrees, huh? Nick Lachey would be pretty popular there, then. :lol
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
370 Posts
I didn't put it since I wasn't sure it was appropriate, but since you're a mod, feel free to delete it if necessary. I just looked it up, it actually wasn't Betty White who said it, it was Sheng Wang (whoever that is).

Why do people say "grow some balls". Balls are weak and sensitive. If you really wanna get tough, grow a vagina, those things take a pounding.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,274 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Goodness. Why couldn't this article have been about Neptune instead. lol After reading the article again, It kinda seems like the author had a bit of fun writing it.

Still interesting nonetheless.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
370 Posts
My mind is in the gutter sometimes, but I did avoid saying anything to "uranus isn't just gassy". :yes

So, if the moon was formed from a chunk of the earth, how is it round? Pressure over several million years?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
814 Posts
lol After reading the article again, It kinda seems like the author had a bit of fun writing it.
Hehe. I'm glad I'm not the only one who thought that. I was feeling rather immature for laughing!

Anyway, I've always been fascinated by how the 7th planet "rolled" (although it doesn't exaclty roll all the time, it's more like it alternates between rolling with- and rolling away from the orbit) on the plane of the solar system instead of "spinning". It's interesting to get some insight into that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,274 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Axial tilt

Uranus has an axial tilt of 97.77 degrees, so its axis of rotation is approximately parallel with the plane of the Solar System. This gives it seasonal changes completely unlike those of the other major planets. Other planets can be visualized to rotate like tilted spinning tops on the plane of the Solar System, while Uranus rotates more like a tilted rolling ball. Near the time of Uranian solstices, one pole faces the Sun continuously while the other pole faces away. Only a narrow strip around the equator experiences a rapid day-night cycle, but with the Sun very low over the horizon as in the Earth's polar regions. At the other side of Uranus's orbit the orientation of the poles towards the Sun is reversed. Each pole gets around 42 years of continuous sunlight, followed by 42 years of darkness.[49] Near the time of the equinoxes, the Sun faces the equator of Uranus giving a period of day-night cycles similar to those seen on most of the other planets. Uranus reached its most recent equinox on December 7, 2007.[50][51]
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
814 Posts
^ yup, during the equinoxes, it would appear like the 7th planet were trying to roll away from, or towards the Sun. Instead, during the solstices it would appear is if it were rolling *with* the orbit, like a lollipop rolling on its side, with the stick connecting it to the Sun.
And all the possible combinations in-between.
 

·
Space Cadet
Joined
·
2,458 Posts
I didn't put it since I wasn't sure it was appropriate, but since you're a mod, feel free to delete it if necessary. I just looked it up, it actually wasn't Betty White who said it, it was Sheng Wang (whoever that is).

Why do people say "grow some balls". Balls are weak and sensitive. If you really wanna get tough, grow a vagina, those things take a pounding.
I'm not even gonna try to say what thoughts went through my head when I read that....
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,662 Posts
:clap:rofl:boogie:eyes:high5:haha:thanks TOO FUNNY!!!
 

·
FAILURE
Joined
·
618 Posts
That title reminds me of a Betty White quote. :haha
Sorry for being so immature, it is an interesting article, although I don't know nearly enough about astronomy to make an intelligent comment. Thanks for sharing.
You know that's the first thing that came to my mind as well.

and nice title op.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,274 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
That's the actual title of the article, not mine. But yes I did get a chuckle over it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,274 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
So, if the moon was formed from a chunk of the earth, how is it round? Pressure over several million years?
Just a cut from Wikki.

Main article: Giant impact hypothesis

Several mechanisms have been proposed for the Moon's formation 4.527 ± 0.010 billion years ago, some 30-50 million years after the origin of the Solar System.These include the fission of the Moon from the Earth's crust through, which would require too great an initial spin of the Earth, the gravitational capture of a pre-formed Moon, which would require an unfeasibly extended atmosphere of the Earth to dissipate the energy of the passing Moon,and the co-formation of the Earth and the Moon together in the primordial accretion disk, which does not explain the depletion of metallic iron in the Moon.These hypotheses also cannot account for the high angular momentum of the Earth-Moon system.

The prevailing hypothesis today is that the Earth-Moon system formed as a result of a giant impact: a Mars-sized body hit the nearly formed proto-Earth, blasting material into orbit around the proto-Earth, which accreted to form the Moon. Giant impacts are thought to have been common in the early Solar System. Computer simulations modelling a giant impact are consistent with measurements of the angular momentum of the Earth-Moon system, and the small size of the lunar core; they also show that most of the Moon came from the impactor, not from the proto-Earth. However, meteorites show that other inner Solar System bodies such as Mars and Vesta have very different oxygen and tungsten isotopic compositions to the Earth, while the Earth and Moon have near-identical isotopic compositions. Post-impact mixing of the vaporized material between the forming Earth and Moon could have equalized their isotopic compositions, although this is debated.

The large amount of energy released in the giant impact event and the subsequent reaccretion of material in Earth orbit would have melted the outer shell of the Earth, forming a magma ocean. The newly formed Moon would also have had its own lunar magma ocean; estimates for its depth range from about 500 km to the entire radius of the Moon.
 

·
B 2 Lonely
Joined
·
1,077 Posts
I snorted really loud before clicking into this thread. is that bad?

anyways, that planet is skewed - or is the rest of our system weird for thinking that planet is skewed? Uranus is special, indeed.
 
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
Top