04:50 GMT19 February 2020
Listen Live
    Get short URL

    It is the sort of information when passed on could silence an audience in seconds. Believe it or not, scientists have just discovered a massive floater hanging around Uranus. No honestly, they say they have now solved one of the biggest mysteries surrounding the planet located a billion miles from Earth.

    Boffins led by Robert Chancia of the University of Idaho say that by their calculations a moon called Cressida near Uranus is light enough to be able to float in a tub of water, meaning it could feasibly be towed back to Earth.

    They have examined the density and mass of Cressida by using 'wobbles' in an inner ring as the planet passed in front of a distant star.

    They say it is only 0.86 grams per cubic centimeter — meaning it would be light enough to float in water if, of course, we could tow it all the way back to Earth to put it to the test.

    A recent Hubble Space Telescope (HST) view reveals Uranus surrounded by its 4 major rings and 10 of its 17 known satellites
    © East News / Universal History Archive/Universal Images Group

    Cressida was discovered by the Voyager 2 spacecraft when it flew past the ice giant in 1986. It managed to radio back thousands of images and voluminous amounts of other scientific data on the planet, its moons, rings and atmosphere. Back on Earth, scientists were then able to study all information, eventually coming up with the theory, the moons are so tightly packed Cressida will eventually smash into another moon Desdemona.

    However this is not likely to be anytime soon, as the experts say we will all have to hang around for possibly another million years to witness the spectacle. The spacecraft data discovered the planet's rate of rotation is 17 hours, 14 minutes, while the magnetic field surrounding it was both large and unusual.

    Images of the five largest moons around Uranus revealed complex surfaces indicative of varying geologic pasts. The cameras also detected 10 previously unseen moons.


    Scientists Revisit Old Data, Discover New Moons Around Uranus
    NASA’s Hubble Telescope Captures Shocking Moment When a Sun-like Star Explodes
    Life on Mars: Let's Try Oman Desert First for Space Mission
    moon, rings, Uranus, space, Idaho
    Community standardsDiscussion
    Comment via SputnikComment via Facebook