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Flaming Gasball from Uranus

Updated on October 22, 2011
Flaming Gasball from Uranus
Flaming Gasball from Uranus | Source

OK — All of you fratboys and any others mired in off-color adolescence — stop your silly scatological sniggering, please! This is in fact a Flaming Gasball from the planet Uranus. And, as may be apparent, he’s not particularly enamored of his lot in life.

Nor would you be, if you happened to reside on the celestial orb having the coldest atmosphere of any in our entire solar system (roughly 370 degrees Fahrenheit below zero!). You would have to be flaming all the time, too, just to keep your ball warm!

To amend my earlier statement, this poor guy actually resides in planet Uranus as we know it. Since the actual planetary surface is nothing but a hard sheen of rock intermingled with the various frozen ices of ammonia and methane in addition to solidified water, it’s far too forbidding upon which to place one’s tender tush (gaseous or not). So this guy hovers iridescently in the thick and opaque Uranian atmosphere of hydrogen and helium. Sort of like a hot air balloon — with a perpetually artificially squeaky voice. So, he and his kin roil about in the murk that we mistakenly perceive as a spherical solid hoisted in the inky black of distant space. By flaming on — increasing their cranial temperature — they rise; by flaming out or flickering, they slowly fall again, navigating the miles-thick milky rind of Uranus. (Since the surface wind speeds can sometimes reach 750 feet per second, the Gasball species endures quite the wild ride most bobbing days of its life.)

This guy also appears so grumpy because he happens to love the festivities and raucous behavior associated with the ringing in of the New Year. However, since his distant home planet manages merely one revolution about ol’ Sol every 84 Earth-years, those celebrations don’t come around too often. (Worse yet for his present temperament, they were held just last week!)

Yet one more factor contributing to FGfU’s lousy mood is the fact that his clan harkens from an area near one of Uranus’ poles. And Uranus’ two planetary poles of rotation are aligned pointing almost directly toward the Sun and almost directly away from the Sun. As a result, in awaiting the next New Year’s Eve Party (to be hosted yet again by the seemingly ageless Flick Flark), he has to endure a full 42 years of complete darkness, followed by a successive 42 years of ceaseless sunshine. He’s in the dark now and for the next decades, and, in the dark, it’s very hard to discern a foul bubble of pure putrescent methane until you’re right in the thick of it (now there’s something you pledging and punking fratboys can really relate to!).

Finally, what’s got Flamey in a funk are his stillborn aspirations to fortune and fame on the stage and screen. Though he’s got a versatile (though squeaky) voice and pretty good moves (for a ball) — and has really got that Brando-like scowl down pat — he really hasn’t got much hope of getting recognized by any of the stellar talent scouts out there. You might say his light is being kept beneath a bushel (er . . . rather, 5,000 miles or more of dense cloud cover).


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    • rickzimmerman profile image

      rickzimmerman 6 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Thanks, Suzette and Paradise! (It's amazing what trivia one picks up in only 50 years of reading science magazines!)

    • Paradise7 profile image

      Paradise7 6 years ago from Upstate New York

      I was not only vastly entertained but very interested in the facts about Uranus you manged to seed into this article...New Year's once every 84 Earth-years; 42 Earth-years of dark, followed by 42 Earth-years of sunshine. Wow!

    • suzettenaples profile image

      Suzette Walker 6 years ago from Taos, NM

      I always know I'm going to be entertained by a rickzimmerman hub. Great job. This is so funny. So Uranus is still and official planet, eh? Some days I feel like a flaming gas ball from Uranus. Thankfully, I have the gulf to cool down in.