The lack of creationist news naturally makes people seek news about the Seventh Planet — the one that dare not speak its name. Very well, never say that your Curmudgeon failed in his task.
Here are excerpts from three relatively recent articles we found at PhysOrg, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:
We’ll start with this one, which appeared in January: How did Uranus end up on its side? We’ve been finding out. They say:
Uranus is arguably the most mysterious planet in the solar system – we know very little about it. So far, we have only visited the planet once, with the Voyager 2 spacecraft back in 1986. The most obvious odd thing about this ice giant is the fact that it is spinning on its side.
Unlike all the other planets, which spin roughly “upright” with their spin axes at close to right angles to their orbits around the sun, Uranus is tilted by almost a right angle. So in its summer, the north pole points almost directly towards the sun. And unlike Saturn, Jupiter and Neptune, which have horizontal sets of rings around them, Uranus has vertical rings and moons that orbit around its tilted equator.
So what caused this situation? We’re told:
Our simulations (see above) show that a body at least twice as massive as the Earth could readily create the strange spin Uranus has today by slamming into and merging with a young planet.
Now you know. Their next article is What does Uranus sound like? Hey — this is no joking matter. They say:
Paul Byrne is a planetary geologist and an assistant professor in NC State’s Department of Marine, Earth, and Atmospheric Sciences. Because Byrne studies how (and why) planets look the way they do, we figured that he’d be a great person to talk to about what Uranus might sound like. And we were right! Basically, it would sound windy.
Enough of that. Here’s one more, which appeared in June: Astronomers see ‘warm’ glow of Uranus’ rings. That one tells us:
The rings of Uranus are invisible to all but the largest telescopes — they weren’t even discovered until 1977 — but they’re surprisingly bright in new heat images of the planet taken by two large telescopes in the high deserts of Chile.
Now you know there are rings around the Seventh Planet. And please, let’s have no jokes modeled on those old “Ring around the collar” commercials. You can do better than that. And if you like, you can click over to PhysOrg and read the articles in their entirety, to satisfy your hunger for news of the Seventh Planet.
Now we’re declaring another Intellectual Free-Fire Zone. We’re open for the discussion of pretty much anything — science, politics, economics, or even astrology, theology, mythology, and sociology — as long as it’s tasteful and interesting. Banter, babble, bicker, bluster, blubber, blather, blab, blurt, burble, boast — say what you will. But avoid flame-wars and beware of the profanity filters.
The comments are open, dear reader. Have at it.
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