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Latest Uranus Stories

Voyager 2 Switches To Backup Thruster Set
2011-11-15 04:28:36

NASA's Voyager 2 has successfully switched to the backup set of thrusters that controls the roll of the spacecraft. Deep Space Network personnel sent commands to the spacecraft to make the change on Nov. 4 and received confirmation on Monday, November 14 that the switch has been made. The change allows engineers to reduce the amount of power that the 34-year-old spacecraft needs to operate by turning off the heater that keeps the fuel to the primary thrusters warm. Although the rate of...

Solar System Ejected A Giant Planet 600 Million Years Ago
2011-11-11 06:10:42

According to a study published in The Astrophysical Journal Letters, our solar system may have ejected a giant planet from its orbit and spared the Earth. Experts wrote that Jupiter had helped eject another giant planet from our solar system when it was about 600 million years old. "We have all sorts of clues about the early evolution of the solar system," author Dr. David Nesvorny of the Southwest Research Institute said in a press release. "They come from the analysis of the...

Uranus' Bumpy Ride
2011-10-06 08:41:52

Uranus´s highly tilted axis makes it something of an oddball in our Solar System. The accepted wisdom is that Uranus was knocked on its side by a single large impact, but new research to be presented on Thursday 6th October at the EPSC-DPS Joint Meeting in Nantes rewrites our theories of how Uranus became so tilted and also solves fresh mysteries about the position and orbits of its moons. By using simulations of planetary formation and collisions, it appears that early in its life...

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2011-06-30 14:00:00

A planetary scientist at the University of Arizona has determined Neptune's rotation. According to the first accurate measurements of the planet's rotational period, a day on Neptune lasts about 15 hours, 57 minutes and 59 seconds. University of Arizona planetary scientist Erich Karkoschka has discovered one of the largest improvements in determining the rotational period of a gas planet in almost 350 years since Italian astronomer Giovanni Cassini made the first observations of Jupiter's...

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2011-06-16 05:20:00

NASA said Wednesday that Voyager 1 could cross over into the frontier of interstellar space at any time and much earlier than previously thought. Data from Voyager's low-energy charged particle instrument have indicated that the outward speed of the charged particles streaming from the sun has slowed to zero. The stagnation of this solar wind has continued through at least February 2011, marking a thick, previously unpredicted "transition zone" at the edge of our solar system. "There is one...

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2011-06-09 13:45:00

NASA said on Thursday that its Voyager spacecraft has helped to show that the edge of our solar system may not be smooth, but filled with a turbulent sea of magnetic bubbles. Scientists found the sun's distant magnetic field is made up of bubbles about 100 million miles wide.  NASA said the bubbles are created when magnetic field lines reorganize, and the new model suggests the field lines are broken up into self-contained structures disconnected from the solar magnetic field. The...

2011-03-31 07:00:00

SACRAMENTO, Calif., March 31, 2011 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Aerojet, a GenCorp (NYSE: GY) company, announced today that its thrusters on the Voyager 1 spacecraft assisted in several critical repositionings of the spacecraft over 10 billion miles away from the sun, at the edge of the solar system. On March 8, 2011, the 34-year-old Voyager 1 spacecraft did the deep space equivalent of a gymnastics routine at the Olympics as it rolled 70 degrees counterclockwise from its normal orientation...

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2011-03-22 12:11:32

NASA's Voyager spacecraft are hurtling towards the edge of our solar system, more than 10 billion miles away from our sun. Interstellar space - the medium between stars - is a region no human-made craft has ever been. On Apr. 28, 2011, a live NASA TV program will feature mission scientists discussing the distant areas Voyager 1 and 2 are exploring, 10 billion miles away from our sun. NASA is inviting classrooms to submit their single best question about the Voyager mission and interstellar...

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2011-03-08 14:07:42

In which direction is the sun's stream of charged particles banking when it nears the edge of the solar system? The answer, scientists know, is blowing in the wind. It's just a matter of getting NASA's Voyager 1 spacecraft in the right orientation to detect it. To enable Voyager 1's Low Energy Charged Particle instrument to gather these data, the spacecraft performed a maneuver on March 7 that it hadn't done for 21 years, except in a preparatory test last month. At 9:10 a.m. PST (12:10 p.m....

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2011-02-18 12:13:25

What would our solar system look like if visitors from other worlds took a series of pictures? NASA's MESSENGER spacecraft did just that by piecing together the first portrait of our solar system from the inside looking out. Comprised of 34 images, the mosaic provides a complement to the solar system portrait--from the outside looking in--taken by Voyager 1 in 1990. "Obtaining this portrait was a terrific feat by the MESSENGER team," says MESSENGER principal investigator Sean Solomon, of the...


Latest Uranus Reference Libraries

Gas Giant
2004-10-19 04:45:41

Gas Giant -- A gas giant is a generic astronomical term invented by the science fiction writer James Blish to describe any large planet that is not composed mostly of rock or other solid matter. Gas giants may still have a solid core - in fact, it is expected that such a core is probably required for a gas giant to form - but the majority of its mass is in the form of gas (or gas compressed into a liquid state). Unlike rocky planets, gas giants do not have a well-defined surface. There...

4_2a3ec5950ad82c9b458cd93eed908c922
2004-10-19 04:45:41

Planet Neptune -- Neptune is the eighth planet from the sun. It is a gas giant. Orbiting so far from the sun, Neptune receives very little heat. Its 'surface' temperature is -218 degrees Celsius (below zero). However, the planet seems to have an internal source of heat. It is thought that this may be leftover heat generated by infalling matter during the planet's birth, now slowly radiating away into space. Neptune's atmosphere has the highest wind speeds in the solar system, up to...

4_8e255370875396e8bb367964593ba8ac2
2004-10-19 04:45:41

Uranus' moon Sycorax -- Sycorax is a moon of Uranus. It was named after a witch living on an island in William Shakespeare's play The Tempest. Its orbital radius is approximately 12.2 million km from Uranus and is about 160 km in diameter, but this size estimate is based on the moon's apparent brightness and the assumption that it has an albedo of about 0.07. Its orbit is retrograde and highly inclined. Sycorax's composition is probably a mixture of rock and ice, and its unusually...

4_d8cfa66191a98199f7d2aafe01055d5b2
2004-10-19 04:45:41

Uranus' moon Caliban -- Caliban is a moon of Uranus, named after Caliban, the character in William Shakespeare's play The Tempest. Caliban was discovered on September 6 - September 7, 1997 by Brett Gladman, Phil Nicholson, Joseph Burns, and JJ Kavelaars using the 200-inch Hale telescope; they also discovered the moon Sycorax at the same time. ----- Discovery Discovered by Brett Gladman Discovered in 1997 Orbital characteristics Semimajor axis 7.1106 km Eccentricity...

4_40ace4a07b47d76249d746df8e9a2feb2
2004-10-19 04:45:41

Uranus' moon Oberon -- Oberon is the name of the outermost of the major moons of the planet Uranus; discovered on January 11, 1787 by William Herschel. All of the moons of Uranus are named for characters from Shakespeare or Alexander Pope. Names for the first four discovered moons of Uranus (Oberon, Titania, Ariel, Umbriel) were given by John Herschel, the son of William. Oberon was named after Oberon, the king of the Faeries in A Midsummer Night's Dream. Oberon is composed of...

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Word of the Day
cacodemon
  • An evil spirit; a devil.
  • A nightmare.
  • In astrology, the twelfth house of a scheme or figure of the heavens: so called from its signifying dreadful things, such as secret enemies, great losses, imprisonment, etc.
'Cacodemon' comes from a Greek term meaning 'evil genius.'
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