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We Finally Know How Uranus Got Its Moons

Uranus is primarily known for being the butt of everyone’s jokes. But the truth is, Uranus is pretty dark and mysterious — and apparently, pretty violent, too. At least it was in its youth.

A new study finds that a collision with large, foreign object did more than just tip a young Uranus on its side, causing it to spin 98 degrees off its orbital plane with the sun. Though the number of smash-ups between Uranus and various objects is widely debated, this new research is predicated on the idea that a single, Earth-sized object walloped the Ice Giant — and that the debris helped form 18 of the planet’s 27 known moons. The researchers presented their findings on December 13 at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union in New Orleans.

The team tested their idea with computer simulations, which found that the material left over from this collision could indeed form objects with similar orbits and masses to Uranus’s moons.

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“Material from the two bodies is ejected in a debris disk, and finally satellites are formed from the debris disk,” one of the researchers, Yuya Ishizawa, told Space.com. “It is possible to explain the axial tilt and the formation of the regular satellites of Uranus simultaneously.”

Placid Uranus, taken by Hubble

The one thing that seems strange to the researchers is that their earlier simulations predicted several moons orbiting Uranus much closer than they do today. These moons eventually decayed over time and disappeared from Uranus’s orbit. According to Space.com, the team will take a closer look at what happened to these unusual moons.

While there’s so much we don’t understand about Uranus, one thing’s for sure — it’s a truly mesmerizing place, brimming with beauty and wonder.

Record Number of Wildfires in Brazil Will Have Global Consequences

Sao Paulo plunged into darkness after forest fire smoke filled the sky.

On Tuesday, thousands of people took to Twitter to share the hashtag #PrayforAmazonia. The viral movement came as the skies above Sao Paulo blackened with the smoke from forest fires burning in the Brazilian states of Amazonas and Rondonia, over 1,000 miles away from the city of Sao Paulo.

Many of the tweets express shock that parts of the Amazon rainforest, the largest rainforest in the world, have been aflame for the past two weeks. Social media analytics site Hashtracking estimates that over 700,000 tweets with the hashtag #PrayforAmazonia have been sent in the past 30 days, amid a record number of forest fires in the Amazon this year.

Climate Change Is About to Make Allergy Season a Whole Lot Longer

You've been warned. 

By Cecilia Sierra Heredia, Jordan Brubacher, and Tim Takaro
on

Every year, without fail, summer brings changes to our surroundings: more sunlight, heat, greenness, and flowers, among many others. For some people, these changes also mean increasing physical discomfort because along with the flowers, trees, and grass comes pollen.

The discomfort caused by pollen can be felt by many people, like watery eyes or a stuffy nose. More often than not, people first turn to the internet to find out what their symptoms mean and to identify some possible options for relief.

How to Hack the Bottom Dollar Effect to Get the Most Out of a Big Purchase

Here's how to keep this phenomenon from ruining your next big purchase.

I recently spent a lot of time scrolling through Trek Madone SLRs online — the elite racing bicycle of my dreams. That bike would essentially clean out my bank account if I was crazy enough to “add to cart.” But for just a second my finger hovered over the buy button. What if I were to throw caution to the wind and buy that sweet carbon machine?

How Hummus Can Solve World Hunger

What if we were able to feed the world on plant protein?

By Richard Trethowan
on
Filed Under 2050, Cities & Environment

A UN report released last week found a quarter of the world’s carbon emissions come from the food chain, particularly meat farming. This has prompted calls to sharply reduce emissions from agriculture and to feed the world on plant protein.

Can we feed a growing global population without increasing the amount of farmland? It’s tough, but certainly possible.

Inverse Daily: The Problem With CBD

A new systematic research review from Mayo Clinic warns there’s still a lot to learn.

Wha-pop, Inverse Daily fam? While I struggle to tear my eyes away from this very bizarre photo set of birds carrying chicks under their wings, let’s get you ready for the weekend.

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