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baric
2011-Mar-09, 06:04 PM
I was reading an interesting article in Astronomy Now about Uranus and it mentioned that the planet is noticeably cooler than the other planets. One suggestion was that the impact with tilted Uranus on its side resulted in the loss of its heat.

This really confused me. I was under the impression that impactors added heat to their targets, presumably from changes in momentum.

How exactly does an impact result in the loss of heat?

antoniseb
2011-Mar-09, 11:29 PM
I agree that I believe impactors deliver heat, not remove it... so either there's a process I don't know about involved, or the writer is confused about something ... like maybe an impactor to Neptune caused Uranus to look cool by comparison.

On the other hand, the temperature of a gaseous planet is the temperature of its highest cloud layer. Maybe Uranus has relatively high altitude clouds.

kzb
2011-Mar-10, 06:26 PM
ooh er matron.....

borman
2011-Mar-11, 10:27 PM
Mechanism Interruption

The anomaly is that most other planets are giving off more heat than they are taking in from the sun. Uranus does not show such a large imbalance that the other gas and ice giants, as well as Earth, shows in this regard.

The question of how planets generate the extra heat has not yet been decided and remains open to speculation. Some assorted possibilities could be associated with metallic Hydrogen for the large planets but Uranus is border line too small. For the smaller planets, like Earth, subducted water can be heated and split, and a Hydrogen bath, at a particular temperature has been monitored by some Italians to capture nuclear spin energy from a substrate by means of resonance absorption which they have mistakenly referred to as “Cold fusion”. This only works within a narrow energy range and a large impact that could upset and change this solvent (Hydrogen) energy range could disrupt the natural process leading to the normally expected cold planet such as Uranus. It may be that the typical case is for the anomalous heat to exist and only a major impact can turn it off.