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Uranus flips its magnetic field like a switch, say scientists

In an interesting new discovery, scientists have found that Uranus flips its magnetic field like a switch. The planet does this everyday as it rotates. Something like this happening on earth will cause widespread devastation and it’s simply unimaginable. But, on Uranus, this is an everyday occurrence. The scientists discovered this interesting aspect of Uranus based on data from NASA’s Voyager 2 spacecraft that travelled past Uranus in 1986. The discovery was made by scientists working at the Georgia Institute of Technology in the US.

Speaking about the interesting finding, researchers said, “The magnetosphere is ‘open’ in one orientation, allowing solar wind to flow into the magnetosphere; it later closes, forming a shield against the solar wind and deflecting it away from the planet.” It may be recalled that Uranus lies and rotates on its side and its magnetic field is lopsided. “Uranus is a geometric nightmare. The magnetic field tumbles very fast, like a child cartwheeling down a hill head over heels,” said Carol Paty associate professor at Georgia Institute of Technology.

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