In the icy gas world, which strangely rotates around the Sun by one side, there is a strange magnetic field that is constantly opening or closing. This is evidenced by a new study, the results of which were published in the scientific publication Space Physics.
Magnetic fields around the planets, also known as the magnetosphere, create shields against bombardment by solar radiation, that is, particles of the solar wind. For example, on the Earth, the magnetosphere lines up fairly close to the axis of the planet of revolution, and the lines of the magnetic field appear from the northern and southern poles of the Earth. However, in Uranus, the magnetosphere is slightly more chaotic.
The axis of rotation of Uranus is inclined at an angle of 98 degrees, and the magnetic field of the planet outside its center is tilted even under 60 degrees. The planet makes a full turn in 17.24 hours. Its magnetic field is periodically opened and closed, as the magnetic field lines are regularly disconnected and reconnected.
Researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta understood this by simulating the magnetosphere of Uranus, digital models and data obtained by the Voyager 2 space probe, which flew in front of the planet in 1986.
“Uranium is a geometric nightmare,” Carol Petey, co-author of the study, said in her statement.
“The magnetic field of this planet falls very quickly, like a child, which rolls head over heels down the hill. When a magnetized solar wind encounters this falling area, it can reconnect, and thus the Uranus magnetosphere then opens, then closes daily. ”
When the magnetosphere opens, it allows solar particles to bombard the planet. Then, when the magnetic field lines are reconnected, this natural shield can continue to block the solar wind.
This process can be associated with the northern lights on Uranus. Just like the northern lights on Earth and other planets, the atmosphere of Uranus is illuminated when particles from the solar wind enter it and interact with gases such as nitrogen and oxygen.