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Something Just Exploded All Over Uranus

By / 11.01.11

Uranus is usually considered to be boring (just what I’ve heard), but an explosion of unknown cause has been observed on Uranus by astronomers at the Gemini Observatory in Hawaii. Leading scientist Heidi B. Hammel announced the discovery on Facebook and called for other astronomers to take a closer look at Uranus and to verify that Uranus is being weird. Maybe they should send a probe to Uranus. Wouldn’t be the first time (just what I’ve heard).

Uranus is very unique in that it’s unusually cold for being so gaseous (so very, very gaseous). Uranus is also tilted to its side, possibly from being pounded by something huge. Yep. Hammel explains why observing these unusual changes on Uranus are important:

“The reason we care about the clouds on the planet Uranus is that they seem to be seasonally driven,” said Hammel. “Uranus spins tipped over on its side, giving rise to extreme changes in sunlight as its seasons progress. The changes are therefore much more dramatic than for other planets. Uranus thus gives us unique insight into the energy balance in a planetary atmosphere.” [MSNBC via Gizmodo]

It will be fascinating to see how this unusual explosion in one area of Uranus will affect Uranus as a whole. Yes, I am 12 years old.


TAGSBOOMCLASSY TIMESGEMINI OBSERVATORYHEIDI HAMMELOH WOWscienceSpaceURANUS

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