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How Uranus got its Tilt

How Uranus got its Tilt

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Credit

MARK GARLICK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MARK GARLICK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Illustration showing how Uranus might have got its axial tilt. Uranus is odd in that it orbits the Sun tipped on its side. How it got like this is not known for sure, but a possibility is that, during the early Solar System, when the planets were still forming, the young Uranus was struck by a large protoplanet. The impact tipped the world on its side and, in the process, created the debris that formed the ring system.

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