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How did Uranus get its tilt ?


Posted on Tuesday, 8 December, 2009 | Comment icon 15 comments


Image credit: NASA
 
Theories as to how the planet Uranus ended up rotating on its side range from a gradual wobble to a cataclysmic collision, but astronomers now think a large moon may have pulled the gas giant 97 degrees to the vertical.

"One of the most enduring mysteries of the Solar System may be a step closer to being solved."

  View: Full article |  Source: Discovery News

  Discuss: View comments (15)

   


 
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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #6 Posted by SpiderCyde on 8 December, 2009, 20:47
I think it happened when mercury bent it over the bathroom sink.
Comment icon #7 Posted by storminateacup on 8 December, 2009, 20:52
I think it happened when mercury bent it over the bathroom sink. Terrible.
Comment icon #8 Posted by 747400 on 8 December, 2009, 21:01
I thought this wa a a joke, but for the life of me I couldn't think of the punchline. Well, i could think of a few punchlines, but none that would be suitable.
Comment icon #9 Posted by danielost on 8 December, 2009, 21:18
our large moon keeps earth from wobbling. so how come this much smaller moon incomperison would pull the planet over on it's side.
Comment icon #10 Posted by DieChecker on 9 December, 2009, 17:10
our large moon keeps earth from wobbling. so how come this much smaller moon incomperison would pull the planet over on it's side. Maybe if that moon had a Polar Orbit???? I don't think that are any known moons with polar orbits.
Comment icon #11 Posted by Xammu on 11 December, 2009, 5:28
Uranus probably just formed that way. A moon could not be able to pull a planet on it's side, and an impact large enough to topple over a planet 15 times the mass of Earth would throw up enormus amounts of debirs, and Uranus' atmosphere would show very chaotic disturbances that would take billions of years to subside (they would still be clearly visible today, but voyaget images show no such disturbances). On a side note, I think the astronamy community seriously needs to rename Uranus. You can't even bring up the topic with out triggering a few snickers. The guy who discovered Uranus back in ... [More]
Comment icon #12 Posted by Paracelse on 25 December, 2009, 8:13
According to Egyptian Genesis, the God Ptah was bored, alone on the Eternal Mound, so he played with himself and created the Universe... before the Universe was populated Ptah might invented the first snow ball fight, trowing planets against each other, thus the tilt in Uranus.. and the Earth
Comment icon #13 Posted by glyndowers heir on 25 December, 2009, 11:26
It's the result of a tragic accident in my early childhood - not something I want to talk about without my therapist being present
Comment icon #14 Posted by PsiPup on 16 January, 2010, 22:37
Of course I had to rehash this one just for the shear fun of it. Now can we stop talking about Uranus at dinnertime? I don't think it's proper talk!


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