Uranus is the only planet that rotates unilaterally. Scientists now think that they know how to do it. At least two times as much of the earth was pushed into the rocks.
Detailed computer simulations have shown that the massive rocks hit the seventh planet from the sun, said Durham University astronomer Jacob Kegerreis. He released his analysis this month at a major earth and space science conference.
Uranus is unique in the solar system. The giant planet, like the five largest satellites, is tilted about 90 degrees from its side. Jim Green, chief scientist at NASA, said the magnetic field is biased and does not go through the same pole as us. It is also the only planet whose internal heat does not escape from the nucleus. It has a ring like Saturn, but it is a faint thing.
"It's very strange," said Scott Sheppard, a planetary scientist at Carnegie Institution.
Computer simulations show that Uranus collision and reconstruction took place within hours, Kegerreis said. He created animations that showed violent clashes and their aftermath.
"There is a possibility that a large object hitting Uranus is hiding in the solar system too far away from us," Green said. It explains some of the orbits of the planet, and he agrees that the missing planet X is spinning well beyond the Sun.
A Green spokesman said Pluto might have pushed down Uranus by small space rocks, but Kegerreis' study and Sheppard pointed to a huge unknown suspect. Green said the single impact is "a good idea."
The collision occurred between 3 billion and 4 billion years ago, before the great moon of Uranus was formed. Instead, there was a disk that eventually made the moon and made the moon. When that happened, Uranus's quaint airflow acted like a gravitational force, pushing the five big moons at the same slope.
Kegerreis said it would also make ice shells that trapped the inner heat of Uranus. (The surface of Uranus is minus 357 degrees or 216 degrees Celsius.)
Ice is the heart of Uranus and its neighbors Neptune. A decade ago, NASA reclassified these two planets as "ice giants" and no longer used with the other giant planets, gas giants Saturn and Jupiter in the solar system.
Pluto is farther away from the Sun and has been explored more than Uranus and Neptune, even though it is no longer officially a planet. They only got a short flight from space probe Voyager 2, which entered the interstellar space last month.
Uranus and Neptune are clearly the most difficult planets, "Shepard said.
But it can change. Robot exploration for one or both of these planets was on the last wish list of planetary scientists and probably will be at or near the top of the list below.
Uranus was named to the Greek god of heaven. Its name often generates youthful humor when it is wrongly pronounced like the body part. (Pronounced YUR & # 39; -uh-nus)
"I do not laugh when I say Uranus," said Greene of NASA. "They must mispredict it to make a creak."