Uranus is gassier than we thought! Planet is not completely packed with ice, scientists find

Scientists have found methane deep within Uranus – revealing the blue planet is gassier than previously thought.

Early experiments of Uranus found the planet is primarily made up of Helium and hydrogen with a touch of methane, but a new study said it considerably outstrips previous expectations.

What’s odd about the methane though, is it isn’t in gas-form but is frozen or ‘mushy,’ – like a 7-eleven Slurpee – and is lodged in Uranus’s core.

Researchers at the Israel Institute of Technology and University of California Santa Cruz revealed that despite findings that said Uranus is made up entirely of ice, roughly 10 percent is actually methane.

Researchers found Uranus is made up of more gas than previously believed and want to understand why it’s made of ice if there is a high amount of methane in its core

The study, which has not yet been peer-reviewed said the classification of Uranus as an ‘ice giant’ may no longer be accurate and the vast amounts of methane could have helped the planet form.

Much about Uranus is still unknown because it is located 1.9 billion miles from earth, but because the solar system is constantly moving, the distance changes daily, reaching two billion miles apart.

It has only had one spacecraft fly by it in history, the Voyager 2, in the 1980s, leaving scientists with the belief that the planet it made up entirely of ice.

To get a better understanding, the researchers developed hundreds of thousands of models of Uranus’ inside and tried to determine which model most closely resembled the ice giant’s mass and radius.

Each model had varying levels of methane, helium and hydrogen, but the researchers found that the models with the most gas element more closely resembled Uranus.

Now they’re looking to better understand why the planet is made up of ice if a large surplus of gas is retained within Uranus.

These findings could shed light on the far-away planet and its nearby giants, including Neptune, to verify how they formed and better explain what elements they’re made of. 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk