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(15,921 posts)
Mon Mar 30, 2020, 09:57 AM Mar 2020

Uranus Ejected a Giant Plasma Bubble During Voyager 2's Visit

Uranus is unquestionably weird. Swirling with mostly water, methane and ammonia, the solar system’s seventh planet is tipped over at 98 degrees, so its magnetic poles take turns directly facing the sun. And its magnetic field is strangely misaligned with the planet’s rotation, causing it to wildly lurch about.

Back in 1986, the ice giant world got what remains its only visitor from Earth — Voyager 2, which is now more than 11 billion miles from Earth, but at that time flew a mere 50,600 miles above Uranus’s cloudy skies. As it passed, Voyager 2 heard an odd magnetic whisper, a signal so ephemeral that it went unnoticed.

More than three decades later, scientists were taking a deep dive into the venerable spacecraft’s data pool, hoping to find scientific mysteries that could help support a return mission to Uranus and its ice giant sibling, Neptune. They unearthed that magnetic hiccup, and realized it represented the detection of a mass of electrically excited gas with a width 10 times Earth’s circumference.

This ginormous bubble was a jettisoned part of Uranus’s atmosphere. Although only one was spotted, other gassy missiles may also be launched every 17 hours, the time it takes Uranus to complete one rotation.


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Uranus Ejected a Giant Plasma Bubble During Voyager 2's Visit (Original Post) Zorro Mar 2020 OP
So Uranus Let One? MineralMan Mar 2020 #1
Yep. A ginormous one. Zorro Mar 2020 #2
My anus let one a few minutes ago in Trump's general direction. lagomorph777 Mar 2020 #10
Is this the Trump origin story? C_U_L8R Mar 2020 #3
I had same thought! Brainfodder Mar 2020 #5
"...other gassy missiles may also be launched..." DEbluedude Mar 2020 #4
They say that losing your sense of smell is a sign of the virus Yavin4 Mar 2020 #13
Good one! DEbluedude Mar 2020 #14
So that's what that was? Laelth Mar 2020 #6
I beg your pardon HAB911 Mar 2020 #7
Giant Plasma Bubble. Enormous Space Fart. Buns_of_Fire Mar 2020 #8
Some humor just writes itself packman Mar 2020 #9
Calling Dr. Pimple Popper! Jane Austin Mar 2020 #11
Uranus to Voyager 2: roamer65 Mar 2020 #12


(35,561 posts)
13. They say that losing your sense of smell is a sign of the virus
Mon Mar 30, 2020, 12:42 PM
Mar 2020

Just tell her that you want to make sure that she's healthy. It's for her own good.


(17,410 posts)
8. Giant Plasma Bubble. Enormous Space Fart.
Mon Mar 30, 2020, 10:28 AM
Mar 2020

Lots of methane. Wildly lurches about. The butt of many jokes. Maybe they'll rename it "Planet Trump".

By all means, NASA should schedule a return visit. Just send a probe up there to light a match and see what happens.

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