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Researchers find a solution to the paradox surrounding Uranus and Neptune

Researchers find a solution to the paradox surrounding Uranus and Neptune

Uranus And Neptune They are both Ice giants Our solar system. This means that they are composed of volatile chemical compounds. Until now it was assumed that the two planets consist mainly of… water Composed. And according to a new study, there are also significant amounts there Methane.

Not much is known about the two planets. So far, it has only been able to use the probe Voyager 2 Take a closer look while flying through the '80s. This is how you can Oxygen, carbon And hydrogen Prove.

➤ Read more: This is what Neptune and Uranus really look like

The planet Uranus appears light blue-green.  This is actually what Neptune looks like

The planet Uranus appears light blue-green. This is actually what Neptune looks like

Scientists have tried ever since Computer models Of the planets that agree with previous observations. It is assumed that it is under one A thin layer of hydrogen And Helium compressed Water ice And Ammonia Lying down. It is estimated that planets can do this 50,000 times Water compared to land.

The building blocks of a low-ice planet

However, according to the study authors, these models have a problem. The two planets emerged, like all the planets in the solar system, from a disk of dust that formed around the sun. They took the so-called Miniature planets on me. These are planetary building blocks similar to asteroids. These bodies are usually poor in ice and contain large amounts of carbon.

An artist's conception of a solar disk containing miniature planets

This raises the question of how suspected amounts of water ice formed on ice giants if their building blocks barely contained any ice. Your solution to this paradox: Uranus and Neptune are composed of large quantities Methane. According to this, there was a chemical reaction between planetesimals made of refractory organic matter (carbon) and gaseous hydrogen in the atmosphere of the precursor planets Uranus and Neptune.

➤ Read more: Why is Uranus so strange?

A middle layer of methane ice

This may have led to the formation of large amounts of methane ice. The researchers used computer models to support their hypothesis. “A methane-rich indoor formula can be a natural solution that works well measuring, Dimensions And A moment of stagnation “Uranus and Neptune are in proportion,” they wrote in their study. Methane can form a thick layer between the mixture of hydrogen, helium and water.

In order to test this theory, a probe must be sent to the ice giants. This is not currently planned. The study can be viewed as a preliminary version It has not yet been independently verified.

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