Is Uranus a visitor from outside the solar system?

Telesfora

The Force is Strong With This One
We have two planets in our solar system that revolves around the Sun in a clockwise direction. Venus and Uranus. In the case of Venus, this was explained by the fact that Venus was originally a comet, which entered the solar system and after a "fight" with Mars it stabilized in an orbit around the Sun.

But then what’s the cause of the "wrong" movement of Uranus around the Sun? Can it be explained in the same way? Is Uranus also a visitor from outside the solar system? If so, how long has it been here and where did it come from?​
 

mkrnhr

SuperModerator
Moderator
FOTCM Member
Just a small remark, all solar system's planet revolve around the Sun in the same direction (anti-clockwise so to speak). What's unique about Venus and and Uranus is that Venus spins on its axis from East to West while other planets like ours spin from West to East (hence the usual celestial movements). What unique about Uranus is that it's spinning almost on its side (but since the axial tilt is > 90°, then it's like Venus). It's easy to confound the two movements.

The following video gives a nice visual on the axial tilts and spin directions.
hope it helps.
 

irjO

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Also, It could possibly be that Uranus at some point in the past was either hit by a big comet or celestial body that made the planet to switch the angle of its axis like that or maybe as a result of gravity alteration because of another planet or big comet that got really closed an altered the way it spins!
 

mrtn

Dagobah Resident
Maybe the electric/charge flow in the solar system from the sun gives objects with relatively stable magnetic fields their spin or contributes to it. Venus does not have a magnetic field like earth, and Uranus has a weird one. Maybe that's why the can spin differently.

The Magnetic Fields of Our Solar System​







The Magnetic Fields of Our Solar System

Magnetic fields protect planets and atmospheres from solar particles. The particles from the sun are charged, which means they respond to the magnetic field and move around it. Magnetic fields are generated by the movement of magnetic material located inside the planet, usually at the core. Earth’s magnetic field is generated by liquid metal at the core and Earth’s rapid rotation of 24 hours generates enough movement of the liquid to stimulate a magnetic field. The other planets in our solar system, except for Venus and Mars, all have magnetic fields or traces of magnetism that differ from Earth’s in various ways. So, how are other planetary magnetic fields generated?

Mercury

Earth and Mercury are the only planets in our system whose magnetic fields are generated by the movement of liquid metal at their cores. Mercury’s magnetic field is 100 times weaker than Earth’s. It’s billions of years old and recently discovered data suggests that it was at one point as strong as Earth’s.

Venus

While Venus does not have a magnetic field, likely because of it’s extremely slow rotation rate at about 243 Earth days, it’s still protected from solarwinds using a different type of magnetism. It’s upper atmosphere, the ionosphere, interacts with solar particles and acts like a magnetic version of a comet’s tail or a magnetotail. The magnetotail of Venus is shaped like the tentacle end of a jellyfish and faces away from the sun.

Mars

Mars does not have a conventional magnetic field--one that is generated by movement at its core. Instead, Mars has powerful magnetic crustal fields that create fields of magnetism if situated correctly on the surface. To create the protective bubble, the magnetic lines have to connect at two points. Some of these magnetic domes are powerful enough to help maintain what is left of the vulnerable atmosphere on Mars.

Jupiter

Jupiter, the largest planet in our solar system, also has the largest magnetic field, generating a magnetosphere larger than the Sun. It’s magnetic field is generated by its fast rotation of 9.8 Earth hours. Unlike Earth, Jupiter’s magnetic field is not generated from it’s core but by interactions in it’s outer core, which consists of liquid metallic hydrogen. Jupiter’s core is likely made of dense, molten liquid although we can’t be sure at this time.

Saturn

Saturn is one of the only planets whose magnetic field lines up with its axis of rotation. It’s field is generated by liquid metallic hydrogen, circulating a rocky core. Its core is heated by gravity pulling helium toward the core, and its rapid rotation at about 10 Earth hours.

Uranus

The magnetic field of Uranus is a little more complicated than the other planets. Uranus’ magnetic field tilts dramatically and does not align with the rotation axis by about 59 degrees. The magnetic field also runs off center through the planet. Because the magnetic field is off center, in some places Uranus has two poles while elsewhere it has four. Uranus meets the two usual requirements for a magnetic field with a rotation period of about 18 Earth hours and electrically charged convection currents near the core. Scientists believe that Uranus’s odd magnetic field could be caused by the electrical currents in the salty ocean within the planet.

Neptune

Neptune’s magnetic field is generated within the planet’s interior. Like Uranus, however, Neptune’s magnetic field is significantly off-center and tilted away from its axis of rotation. Because the magnetic field line is offset, scientists believe that Neptune, like Uranus, has magnetic or electrical interactions occurring closer to the surface of the planet. If the magnetic field were generated at it’s core, the magnetic field would be more likely to go directly through the center of the planet as it does for Earth.
Of all of these natural magnets, the Earth’s magnetic field is the most important to our existence. If Earth didn’t have a magnetic field, we would be in trouble. The magnetic field protects us from harmful radiation from the Sun and helps keep our atmosphere from leaking into space.
 
Also, It could possibly be that Uranus at some point in the past was either hit by a big comet or celestial body that made the planet to switch the angle of its axis like that or maybe as a result of gravity alteration because of another planet or big comet that got really closed an altered the way it spins!
Even taking into account that Uranus is gigantic,... perhaps if there was a collision or interaction of some kind in the past, it is theorized, for example, that the rings of Uranus (larger in the past and perhaps the product of this theoretical interaction or collision(s)) gradually destabilized the planet's axis of rotation until it tilted... but really, from what you can see, the matter will have to be investigated further and it could be due to another or set of reasons.
 

Telesfora

The Force is Strong With This One
Just a small remark, all solar system's planet revolve around the Sun in the same direction (anti-clockwise so to speak). What's unique about Venus and and Uranus is that Venus spins on its axis from East to West while other planets like ours spin from West to East (hence the usual celestial movements). What unique about Uranus is that it's spinning almost on its side (but since the axial tilt is > 90°, then it's like Venus). It's easy to confound the two movements.

The following video gives a nice visual on the axial tilts and spin directions.
hope it helps.
Thank you for your reply and for correcting my mistake.

I was aware that Uranus is so inclined that it basically rotates sideways, but I somehow associated that the different direction of Uranus' motion relates to its motion around the sun and not its spin around its axis.
 

Telesfora

The Force is Strong With This One
Also, It could possibly be that Uranus at some point in the past was either hit by a big comet or celestial body that made the planet to switch the angle of its axis like that or maybe as a result of gravity alteration because of another planet or big comet that got really closed an altered the way it spins!
Thank you for your reply.

The most popular explanation for Uranus' sideways position is that at the beginning of the Solar System's formation, Uranus was impacted by an Earth-sized protoplanet. I also found another interesting explanation:


,,Today, Gwenael Boue and Jacques Laskar at the Observatoire de Paris in France put forward another idea. They say that Uranus may have become tilted during the period soon after formation when the planets were migrating to the orbits we see now. They point out that the presence of satellites around a planet can increase its rate of precession, if it has a high initial inclination of more than say 17 degrees. This increase can be by as much as a factor of 1000 if the mass of the moon and the radius of its orbit have certain values. For Uranus, this is for a moon of 0.01 Uranian mass and at 50 Uranian radii.,,

,,Boue and Laskar’s idea is that Uranus once had a moon of the required size and orbit, which caused the planet to tilt during the planetary migration, but that this moon was ejected during a close encounter towards the end of the migration.,,
 

Telesfora

The Force is Strong With This One
Maybe the electric/charge flow in the solar system from the sun gives objects with relatively stable magnetic fields their spin or contributes to it. Venus does not have a magnetic field like earth, and Uranus has a weird one. Maybe that's why the can spin differently.
Thank you for your reply. That’s truly interesting. I’m not surprised that even magnetic field of Uranus is tilted.

University of Tennessee:

Magnetic Field of Uranus

,,Most magnetic fields have axes for their dipole that are tilted not too differently from the rotation axis. For example, Mercury, Earth, Jupiter, and Saturn have magnetic dipole axis tilts relative to the rotation axis that are generally less than 12 degrees. Thus, the very large tilt of the Uranian magnetic axis was a surprise. We know that the Earth goes through periodic reversals of the direction of its magnetic field (for reasons that are not well understood, however). Two theories for the large tilt for the field of Uranus are that it is in some way associated with the event that tilted its rotation axis to lie almost in the plane of the ecliptic (perhaps a collision), or that Uranus is presently going through a magnetic field reversal similar to those of Earth and we have caught it in the middle of the process.,,

If I understand correctly, the strange inclination of Uranus' magnetic field and its sidereal rotation may have the same cause.
 

Telesfora

The Force is Strong With This One
Even taking into account that Uranus is gigantic,... perhaps if there was a collision or interaction of some kind in the past, it is theorized, for example, that the rings of Uranus (larger in the past and perhaps the product of this theoretical interaction or collision(s)) gradually destabilized the planet's axis of rotation until it tilted... but really, from what you can see, the matter will have to be investigated further and it could be due to another or set of reasons.

Thank you for your reply.

I doubt it will be investigated soon. Uranus interests scientists the least. Although there is a mission planned to this planet but by the time we get the results it is possible that I will have grandchildren.


But I’m going to talk about NASA.

Not many people know that Russia had its own original mission to Uranus.

Россия отправит к Урану свою межпланетную станцию

,,According to the Russian space agency, Russia plans to launch its own interplanetary automatic station to Uranus in 2026. Such a station will consist of an orbital probe and a descent vehicle, which will have to land on one of the giant planet's satellites (Titania and Oberon are considered candidates for this mission).,,

,,Roscosmos plans to start design work on the interplanetary station, which is to go to Uranus, no later than 2020. The implementation of the program will be funded by the government.,,

Actually, that would be it. I suspect that if the project continued Russia would brag about it to the world. And there is silence. It is especially annoying now because Putin recently said that Russia needs success on the international scale, and especially success in space.

Russia has not had any serious interplanetary project since the fall of the Soviet Union. The only thing the Russians are doing in space now is sending people to the ISS and satellites into orbit. It's really depressing.

If this mission came to realization, to just launching this station would already be a huge success. And the station itself would reach Uranus much earlier than the planned American mission. Not to mention that the landing on Oberon or Titania itself would be history-making and the Russians could again be pioneers in space exploration.

But now you can only dream. The sad reality is that the Russian space program is dying a slow death and it's sad to witness it, and Uranus will still be waiting for exploration for a long time.
 
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