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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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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.

/form Uranus was hit by a massive object roughly twice the size of Earth that caused the planet to tilt during the formation of the solar system about four

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 “mystery” planets twice the size of Earth , causing the planet to tilt . Computer models show a series of impacts by Earth - sized objects could have left Uranus on its side before its moons formed.

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.

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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This study confirms an older study that suggested Uranus ' significant tilt was caused by a collision with a massive object . Scientists used a high-resolution simulation to confirm that an object twice the size of Earth collided with Uranus and altered its tilt .

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

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 planet Uranus got its tilt after being hit in a "catastrophic collision" of a massive object that is about twice as large as the earth , new research has suggested.

Researchers said that Uranus was in a cataclysmic collision with an object twice the mass of earth . (Image: GETTY). 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

"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.

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