I Can't Believe I Ate the Whole Thing: Neptune Eats Planet

We've all felt hungry in the middle of the night - hungry enough, perhaps, to power through an entire pint of Häagen-Dazs, or finish off the half-pizza left in the fridge. But it's safe to assume that few of us have ever been as voracious as the planet Neptune, which may have, according to a paper by Steven Desch quoted by The New Scientist, once slurped up an entire super-Earth and stolen its moon. The energy - let's call it heartburn - left over from the impact, speculates the Arizona State astronomer, may account for both the odd counter-clockwise orbit of the moon Triton and the heat radiating from Neptune, which far exceeds that generated by its similar-sized neighbor, the suddenly appropriately named Uranus. We may assume that Prilosec was not available in convenient asteroid form.


Sponsor Content

Newsletters

All-access pass to the top stories, events and offers around town.

  • Top Stories
    Send:

Newsletters

All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >