Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Scientists Checking For Massive Impacts Into Uranus?

Q: What do you do for a living? A: I check for impacts into Uranus.

Most of the material from the impactor's rocky core falls in to the core of the target. However, for higher angular momentum impacts, significant amounts become embedded anisotropically as lumps in the ice layer. Furthermore, most of the impactor's ice and energy is deposited in a hot, high-entropy shell at a radius of ~3 R ⊕. This could explain Uranus' observed lack of heat flow from the interior and be relevant for understanding its asymmetric magnetic field.