FP Trend 07. April 2020 16:42:21 IST
A recent study has revealed the reason for the unique axis of the planet Uranus. Astronomers who conducted the research said Uranus may have been hit by an icy, earth-sized object.
Published in the journal Nature Astronomy the study says that Uranus is tilted many times 90 degrees relative to the plane of the solar system, making its axis unique compared to other planets.
The research was carried out by a team of Japanese astronomers. They tried to model what could possibly have happened using a computer model.
The model was based on the system of moons orbiting the planet. Uranus has 27 moons, most of which have icy surfaces. Astronomers believe that their moons, like Earth's, could have been created by colliding with a massive object.
"This model is the first to explain the configuration of the Uranus lunar system, and it can help explain the configurations of other icy planets in our solar system like Neptune," said the study’s lead author, Shigeru Ida in an explanation .
The researchers believe that the object that collided with the planet in its early years could be covered by ice. Taking into account the amount of debris created by the collision, astronomers say that the icy impactor could have been about one to three times the mass of the earth.
According to the study, the collision of Uranus, the third largest planet in The Solar System, could have a significant impact on the cosmic body.
The researchers say that their computer model could also be used to study the formation of other icy bodies in the solar system.
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