"Uranus" by NASA/JPL-Caltech / Public Domain

Scientists probe the weird, alien water inside of Uranus and Neptune

Aug 14, 2020

By Chelsea Gohd

Researchers are investigating an alien version of water inside the strange, icy interiors of Uranus and Neptune.

In a new study, scientists have devised a theoretical computer model and used it to peer inside the ice giants Uranus and Neptune. With this tool, the team studied the thermal and electrical conductivity of the unusual water inside of these planets. In simulating these physical processes on the teeny-tiny atomic scale, the researchers hope that this new model will reveal information about the icy bodies’ internal structure, magnetic fields, how they evolved and exactly how old they are.

In studying Uranus and Neptune with this model, the researchers, who stem from the International School for Advanced Studies (SISSA) in Trieste, Italy and the University of California at Los Angeles, estimated that the two planets are likely primarily composed of water in some form and Uranus might even have a frozen core, according to a SISSA statement.

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