The ice-giant planet Uranus has its spin axis tilted by 98 degrees. Its satellite system is equally inclined and believed to be the result of the consequence of a giant impact.

As Uranus rotates and orbits the sun, it keeps its poles aimed at fixed points with relation to this sphere, so it appears to roll around and wobble from an Earth observer’s perspective.

Like Saturn, Uranus also has a ring system and 27 moons that orbit around its equator. The moons are also tipped relative to the plane of the ecliptic.

Now, a team scientists at the Tokyo Institute of Technology led by Professor Shigeru Ida from the Earth-Life Science Institute (ELSI), has explained the origins of Uranus’ unusual set of properties.

Their study recommends that early in the history of our solar system, Uranus was struck by a small, icy planet about one to three times the mass of the Earth, which spilled the young planet and left behind its idiosyncratic moon and ring system

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