Due to a cosmic tragedy, the planet Uranus rotates at an angle of 98 degrees in the opposite direction to Earth.
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All eight planets in our solar system rotate on their own axis and orbit around the sun, as is generally known. Two of these planets, Venus and Uranus, rotate in the opposite direction to the other six planets, including Earth, which rotates in a prograde direction. This indicates that although six planets, including our Earth, rotate in a counterclockwise manner, Uranus rotates in a clockwise way. Not only that, but Uranus spins on its side, making it the most peculiar planet of them all. As opposed to being nearly straight or only slightly slanted like other, “normal” planets, its tilt is so extreme that it is now on its side. It’s interesting that scientists still don’t have any conclusive theories to account for these unusual movements. However, there are a few hypotheses that can provide answers to certain crucial questions.
Why does Uranus spin in retrograde rotation?
There are a few suggestions that could help to explain why Uranus spins in a clockwise direction, despite the fact that there are no such confirmed answers to this question. One of the most widely accepted theories for why Uranus rotates in a clockwise manner instead of the other planets and Earth is that the planet once rotated counter-clockwise. However, over the course of millions of years, it might have been struck by one or more massive things, such as perhaps other planets or asteroids, which caused it to spin in the opposite way. “In 2011, simulations suggested that a number of smaller collisions, rather than one big impact, knocked Uranus’ spin to an angle of 98 degrees,” according to Scienecalert.com. The angle between the Earth’s spin axis and its orbital plane around the Sun is 23 degrees.
Another theory contends that Uranus originally had a large moon, and that the planet turned on its side as a result of the moon’s gravitational pull. But according to researchers, the moon might have been thrown out of its orbit by another planet, much like a cosmic pinball.