back to article Probe boffins: Two balls deep in Uranus's ring

Data from the first and only time mankind probed Uranus appears to show two new moons hiding in the dark rings that encircle the gas giant. Back in 1986, Voyager 2 skimmed past Uranus and found 10 new moons encircling the gas giant. Two of these, named Cordelia and Ophelia, occur on the outside of Uranus' rings, and the …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    That may be for a while in this financial climate

    Imagine a NASA director asking in congress. "We need additional funds to explore Ur anus"

    1. hplasm

      Re: That may be for a while in this financial climate

      That's why they renamed it 'Urectum'...


      1. Little Mouse

        Re: That may be for a while in this financial climate

        they renamed it Urectum

        I heard it was "Boom-HO-lay"

    2. Mark 85

      Re: That may be for a while in this financial climate

      Imagine the response by some CongressCritters.....

    3. P. Lee
      Black Helicopters

      Re: That may be for a while in this financial climate

      Confucious say, "Remove the first A and funding will be yours."

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    That headline


    1. Scroticus Canis
      Thumb Up

      Re: That headline

      Excellent isn't it. Uppies 4 U.

      There is yet more - "small, dark spots next to Uranus. Clearly a probe is needed"

    2. Pen-y-gors

      Re: That headline

      Jolly good headline, but jokes about bottoms are pretty easy - really they've only gone for the low-hanging fruit.

      1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

        Re: That headline

        it's very cold

        Well, the sun probably doesn't shine there...

      2. ravenviz Silver badge

        Low hanging fruit? (Re: That headline


        1. Mpeler

          Re: Low hanging fruit? (That headline - Dingleberries


    3. Faux Science Slayer

      Dark Matter Circles Uranus....

      could have picked a more provocative title....

  3. Rich 11

    Full marks

    ...for the highest yet density of references to your anus in a single article. You really packed them in.

  4. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

    "... given the small predicted sizes of the α and β moonlets, a convincing detection may not be possible in the Voyager 2 images ..."

    At 2 to 4 km probably not... Does anybody here know something about the resolution of the Voyager pics? Off the top of my head I'd say the moonlets will be hiding in the pixels, so to speak...

    1. TeeCee Gold badge

      Hardly surprising that in published pictures Uranus is pixillated.

    2. Pen-y-gors

      Down vote?

      I'm tempted to give you a downvote for being serious and failing to make any bottom jokes.

      Oh all right, let you off this time. But don't do it again - you're a very naughty person!

  5. This post has been deleted by its author

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Top hole

    Just echoing everyone's endorsements of the headline. This is why I read El Reg.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Top hole

      Arse is why I'm moving to Ars...

  7. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    Yes people seem to forget about Saturn and Uranus.

    But both are huge and I didn't realize just how odd Uranus's orbit actually is.

    Sounds like there are few opportunities to visit it as it rarely crosses the ecliptic plain.


    But well done for the high density of a**e gags.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Yes people seem to forget about Saturn and Uranus.

      "...few opportunities to visit it as it rarely crosses the ecliptic plain [sic]"

      Uranus's orbit is closely aligned with the ecliptic plane and is no more difficult to get to than any of the other outer planets. It's orbit around Sol is relatively eccentric though, by about 1.8 AU, which may be the result of whatever it was that tilted it over by 97.7 degrees.

      The most curious thing about it, to my thinking, is that not only is the planet tilted over but that its moons and rings are also tilted and remain closely aligned with its orientation and axial rotation. The current thinking is that Uranus's axial tilt is the result of a collision with an Earth-sized protoplanet early in the Solar System's formation but this scenario doesn't really explain how its rings and moons were also tilted: an Earth-sized protoplanet hitting Uranus should certainly disrupt the moons and rings to some degree but its almost inconceivable that it would disrupt them in such a way as to maintain that close alignment.

      If Uranus had a relatively large and very irregular rocky core then that might explain it: the irregularities in the core would result in slight variations in its gravitational field (as it rotates) which could 'drag' the moons and rings in to realignment after the collision. The trouble with this though, is that Uranus's core seems to be too small and is under so much pressure that it's unlikely to be irregular enough. An alternative is that the realignment could have been due to the influence of Uranus's magnetic field but the problem with that idea is that not only is Uranus's magnetosphere not aligned with its rotation (by about 57 deg) but it also doesn't even pass through the center of the planet, being displaced by about 1/3rd of Uranus's radius.

      A very unlikely third alternative is that Uranus could be a captured planet and was already orientated the way it is when it was captured. However, its close alignment with the plane of the ecliptic is a very strong argument against a capture scenario.

      Obligatory arse themed comment: Buggered if I know what happened.

      1. Mpeler
        Paris Hilton

        Re: Yes people seem to forget about Saturn and Uranus.

        It's the Kardashians wot dunnit...

        (Can't find a Kardashian icon (probably too big) so Paris will have to do)...

  8. Ellipsis

    Lunchtime… take first bite of sandwich… open up El Reg… read that headline… icon selects itself.

    So childish, but I love it…

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Headlines of glory

    Kudos for not delving to the depraved depths of a headline that said "Two balls deep in Uranus' ring".

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Headlines of glory

      What about the Probe?

      The number of multiple entendres in that headline may actually exceed the word count....

  10. jms222


    I remember a travel programme exploring Myanus in the U.S. and finding it had a sewage works.

  11. Lotaresco

    Two dark bodies...

    The famous Dagnut and Pile, presumably.

  12. Roger Kynaston

    if NASA is't interested in nether regions perhaps ESA is

    I am sure they could name the probe bottom (from Midsummer Night's Dream)

    1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

      Re: if NASA is't interested in nether regions perhaps ESA is

      Even better than that, they could call one of these moons Bottom, since Uranus' moons ARE named after Shakespearean characters.

  13. W4YBO

    It is, after all, a gas giant.

    Nothing grabs the attention of a group of budding astronomers (kids) like asking them "Hey, did you know Uranus is sideways?

  14. ITnoob

    Ophelia balls....

  15. chivo243 Silver badge

    two rim jobs in one rimg?

  16. Chris G

    Puerile and smutty

    Headlines such as that of this article appeal to the lowest common denominators of society, it is just plain toilet humour.

    As is this:

    P.S. It got me to click on it!

  17. eldakka

    I'd be disappointed too

    "the first and only time mankind probed Uranus"

    I feel sad for Uranus.

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