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The Many Mysteries of Uranus

An ode to the oddball of our solar system
Source: NASA / JPL

Editor’s Note: This article is part of the series “What Is the Best Planet?

The best planet in our solar system is not, as Adrienne LaFrance claimed several months ago, Jupiter. Nor is it Saturn, as Ross Andersen argued in a rebuttal last month. I teach science for a living, which means I have a hard time allowing misinformation to pass by uncorrected—and after reading those articles, I knew I had to step in before any more intellectual damage was done.

The best planet is Uranus—Uranus the bizarre. Uranus the unique. While all the other planets spin like tops around the sun, Uranus lies on its side. It isn’t the farthest planet from the sun, yet it manages to be the coldest. Its magnetic field is nowhere near where it’s supposed to be, and its ghoulish blue-green atmosphere seems to alternate between dull

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