Uranus Took Two Hard Poundings, Got Screwed Sideways

Uranus’ name has always inspired grade-school jokes, but rarely have we seen one so scientific and educational in nature. And it’s proved to us that Uranus is indeed the gay planet.

You see, Uranus has an odd orientation—unlike the rest of the planets, which spin like tops with their poles straight up, Uranus’ poles are knocked to the sides, with its fabulous red ring running from top to bottom instead of from side to side. explains that the planet was, like many gay men this past weekend, pounded not once but twice in order to achieve its strange tilt:

Uranus isn’t just gassy, it’s also tilted completely sideways, such that instead of rotating like a spinning top, it rolls around the plane of the solar system more like a giant ball. Now astronomers think they know how this happened, and it means that Uranus has been pounded really, really hard not once, but twice…

But with Uranus, one collision big enough to knock the entire planet sideways would also have screwed up Uranus’ system of moons, which isn’t the case.

Replacing that one big impact with two slightly smaller impacts, though, works out perfectly.

With that solved, the question becomes: What two tops penetrated Uranus?