Uranus is leaking gas

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  • NASA’s Voyager 2 probe flew through a blob of charged gas called a plasmoid decades ago, and scientists only just now realized it.
  • The blob could reveal secrets about the planet’s atmosphere loss, which may be related to its bizarre rotation and distinct wobble.
  • Future missions near Uranus, or even to the planet’s surface, could reveal even more about its history.
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It’s been several decades since NASA’s Voyager 2 spacecraft reached the chilly planet Uranus. The probe cruised past the frigid world at a distance of around 50,000 miles, sending back a wealth of data for scientists to dig through. Now, 34 years after it visited Uranus, the data that Voyager 2 sent back has revealed something entirely new.

As NASA reports in a new post, researchers recently discovered that Voyager 2 cruised through a blob of charged gas called a plasmoid as it passed the planet. The spacecraft’s journey through the plasmoid lasted only about a minute, but that was still long enough for scientists to spot the anomaly in the decades-old data.

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Uranus is leaking gas originally appeared on BGR.com on Thu, 26 Mar 2020 at 13:25:55 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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