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Science Questions

Why do days last forty-two Earth years on Uranus?

Mookie Answer: Because Ur-anus is so big! (sorry could resist)

Actual Answer: Uranus rotates on its side, so that one of its poles faces toward the sun throughout half of its eighty-four year orbit, while the other pole faces away. Once it passes behind the sun and begins the return leg of its journey, the other pole faces the sun for forty-two Earth years. At some point in its history, Uranus was probably struck by a large object that knocked it sideways. As a result, its equator lie on a plane perpendicular to the plane of the other planet's orbits. In contrast to Uranus, the Earth is positioned nearly upright. Our equatorial plane lies almost parallel to the plane of our orbit around the sun, so our entire planet experiences both night and day in every twenty-four hour period.


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