The solar system’s rudest planet just got ruder after scientists have claimed that Uranus opens wide on a daily basis to let in blasts of solar wind, before clenching shut again. You can’t beat a bit of year 10 toilet humour, can you?
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NASA are now preparing to probe the gassy depths of Uranus. Lol. The findings were made by scientists from the Georgia Institute of Technology after they reviewed data from the Voyager 2 spacecraft, which flew past the planet three decades ago.
The research found that Uranus’ magnetic field swings open and shut like the opening of a revolving door every day as it rotates along with the planet. It is open in one orientation, allowing solar wind to flow into the magnetosphere, and later clenches shut, forming a shield against the wind and deflecting it from the planet.
Carol Paty, associate professor at Georgia Tech and co-author of the study published this month in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics, called the planet a “geometric nightmare”:
The magnetic field tumbles very fast, like a child cartwheeling down a hill head over heels. When the magnetised solar wind meets this tumbling field in the right way, it can reconnect and Uranus’ magnetosphere goes from open to closed to open on a daily basis.
Well, I guess there’s no way of sugar coating it. Uranus is one giant, gassy sphere. But I guess you already knew that.
To read about the seven earthlike planets that were recently discovered by NASA, click HERE.