In a strong inclination axis Uranus blame collision with another celestial body
Strange orientation of Uranus with respect to all the other planets of the solar system has always remained a mystery to scientists. Its axis of rotation is as if "on the side" regarding the treatment of the plane of the planets around the sun. Because of this planet is the sun facing alternately the north pole, the south, the equator, the middle latitudes. The research team, consisting of astronomers at Durham University (England), specialists from the Ames Research Center (NASA's), Washington University, Los Alamos National Laboratory, and the University of California, believes that found the explanation for this unusual situation of the planet.
led the study of the international group astronomer Jacob Kegerreys. According to scientists, such a strong inclination of its axis of Uranus could acquire as a result of a collision with a large space object, weight and size of at least two times greater than that of our Earth. Set this possibility helped to computer modeling. Astronomy study reported in the press release published on the website Phys.org.
A farewell snapshot of Uranus obtained spacecraft "Voyager 2" during "departure" Neptune
Uranus - the planet is unique. The plane of the equator of Uranus is tilted to its orbital plane at an angle of 97 86 degrees - that is, the planet rotates retrograde, "lying on its side a little upside down." Measurements of "Voyager 2" led to the discovery of Uranus in a very specific magnetic field, which is not directed from the geometric center of the planet and is tilted by 59 degrees relative to the axis of rotation, said NASA researcher Jim Green. In addition, it is the only planet in the solar system, which has not been heat radiation emanating from the nucleus. And Uranus has rings like Saturn. However, not as distinct. Computer modeling has shown that such a metamorphosis could result in a collision of Uranus with other larger celestial body. And be changes in the axial tilt of the planet could in just a few hours, the researchers said.
Fragment of a computer simulation based on the open code, SWIFT, presented an astronomer at Durham University Jacob Kegerreysom. Here shows the moment a celestial object collision with the planet Uranus. Kegerreys notes that the scientists created a detailed computer model shows how cosmic cataclysm occurred 3-4 billion years ago, changed the inclination of the axis of Uranus, the planet turned almost 90 degrees to its original position. With the image provides more detail can be found here
It is possible that the object hit the uranium is still somewhere in the solar system, but it is so far from Earth that it can not be seen, the researchers added. This could explain some feature of the planet's orbit, and could well be correlated with hypotheses about the presence in our system, some kind of "Planet of the X", whose orbit in the view of some scientists is somewhere far behind Pluto.
There is also a possibility that the uranium could be faced with smaller objects (the size of Pluto) that it and "turned", but scientists are more inclined to believe that the culprit is still a massive celestial body.
The clash could occur 3-4 billion years ago, even before Uranus were large satellites. At that time, the planet was surrounded by a distinct protoplanetary disk from which subsequently formed its moons. Already after the planet has got its unusual inclination, its gravity pulled him and the 5 major satellites, giving them the same slope, the scientists say. These changes may also lead to the fact that the planet covered ice shell that holds the internal heat and not allowing it to come to the surface (average temperature on Uranus is about -216 degrees Celsius), researchers added. Still, the final conclusions on the planet to do it is too early, scientists agree. In the end, the main stock of our knowledge of Uranus consists of observations of the spacecraft "Voyager 2", which flew past the planet in 1986 and, by the way, finally came out into interstellar space, as we reported last month, and actively discussed in our Telegram-chat.
Targeted mission to this mysterious world to help solve all its mysteries, experts believe.