Home » Why is the axis of Uranus so highly tilted? A possible way – Explained
The theory of the research team says that, the axis of Uranus so highly tilted due to the migration of its moon
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Why is the axis of Uranus is so tilted?

Uranus is the seventh and the least massive planet in our solar system. The first planet to be discovered and it was long mistaken as a star, due to its dimness and slow orbit. However, later in year Herschel found it followed a planetary orbit. Uranus is the only planet to be named after a Greek god, while other planets hold a name of Roman’s. It is also notable for its tilt angle and direction of rotation, which actually brings you here to find out our article.

The Research Team

A research team include the members from Université Côte d’Azur, the University of Maryland College Park, the University of Pisa, and Sorbonne Université has presented a paper representing the odd tilt of Uranus and its opposite spin.

Looking back to several years, scientists have delivered their theories to explain those unique characteristics of Uranus. Let me tell you two familiar theories.

  • Collision with another large body
  • Influence by a group of smaller bodies.

However, both the points remains as a theory because of absence in evidence of such bodies mentioned.

A Possible Theory – Explained

The theory of the research team says that, the axis of Uranus so highly tilted due to the migration of its moons. With the help of math calculations, they predict that the Uranus tilt will change dramatically over the next few billion years. Moreover they found the similar results, when they looked at the Saturn. It put forward with a motivation to them to continue the research at Uranus for its unique tilt angle.

The research team created computer simulations along with the values of size, shape and range of the migrating moons. They found that a moon circling Earth with just half of its mass, could raise Uranus’ tilt angle to close to 90° over millions of years.

why is the axis of Uranus so highly tilted
Credits to NASA

But they also mentioned that, the moons that circle Uranus now do not have enough mass to create such a tilt. According to their simulations, if the Uranus’s tilt is pushed to 80° by a large moon, things would possibly become unstable and the crash would happen between moon and the planet. With these points, received from the simulation and calculations they found – could explain why the axis of Uranus so highly tilted ?

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the tilted axis of Uranus?

Uranus tilts almost 98 degrees, whereas the Earth’s axis is tilted about 23 degrees. Such a degree of Uranus, makes it actually looks like the planet is rotating on its side with respect to the Sun.

2. What are the planets spin backwards?

Only two planets in our solar system spins in clockwise direction, where as other planets spin in a counter-clockwise direction.

3. How many spacecrafts have been to Uranus?

Voyager 2 is the only spacecraft to have visited Uranus.

4. Why did Voyager 1 not go to Uranus?

The Voyager 1 is not directed to Uranus and Neptune, as it is required to undergo the Titan flyby.

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