Uranus collision with huge object cause strange temperature change, scientists find

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The vast collision might be the reason why Uranus came to have such freezing temperatures
The vast collision might be the reason why Uranus came to have such freezing temperatures

New Delhi : The sudden change in Uranus's climate and position indicate that the planet might have faced a punch by a huge object, according to new research.

Scientists have been searching the reason why the planet is shunted slightly over to its side. And, the new research probably found that there might be a major collision between the planet and another object.

Also, explaining the planet's dashing angle, the vast collision might also be the reason why Uranus came to have such freezing temperatures. And it could help scientists understand the mysterious exoplanets that are dotted throughout the universe and give hope for finding alien life.

Computer simulation showed that debris from the impact could have made a thin shell around the ice layer on the planet. That could have trapped the internal heat and led to the freezing conditions in the outer atmosphere, according to the research.

A major collision happened about 4 billion years ago. Uranus probably hit a young proto-planet made of rock and ice, the researchers said.

The impact was probably only a glimpse blow, with the object striking the Uranus's side and moving on into space. That would explain how the impact was enough to tilt the planet, but could not disturb its atmosphere.

"Uranus spins on its side, with its axis pointing almost at right angles to those of all the other planets in the solar system. This was almost certainly caused by a giant impact, but we know very little about how this actually happened and how else such a violent event affected the planet," said Lead author Jacob Kegerreis, a researcher in Durham University's Institute for Computational Cosmology.

"We ran more than 50 different impact scenarios using a high-powered super computer to see if we could recreate the conditions that shaped the planet's evolution.

"Our findings confirm that the most likely outcome was that the young Uranus was involved in a cataclysmic collision with an object twice the mass of Earth, if not larger, knocking it on to its side and setting in process the events that helped create the planet we see today."

“All the evidence points to giant impacts being frequent during planet formation, and with this kind of research we are now gaining more insight into their effect on potentially habitable exoplanets," said co-author Dr Luis Teodoro, of the BAERI/ NASA Ames Research Center.

The new study will certainly help common people to understand exoplanets outside the own solar system. Uranus is similar to the most common type of exoplanets that are seen mostly, and so researchers hope they can use the discovery to understand more about the birth of other planets in the solar system