The Solar System
Uranus is the third largest planet in the solar system, is a Gas
Giant and is the seventh planet from the sun. Planet Uranus has
rings like Planet Jupiter, Saturn and Neptune.
It was discovered by William Herschel
on March 13, 1781 and was the first planet discovered in
modern times. It is also the first planet discovered with a
telescope as opposed to the naked eye.
The Planet Uranus has been visited by the
Voyager 2 spacecraft
51,500 km (32,000 miles)
-197.15 C (-322.87° F)
84 years to complete an orbit.
* Average Distance: 2,870,972,200
km (1,783,939,400 miles - 19.2 AU) from Sun
* Mass: 8.6849 x 1025 kg
* Moons: 27
* Period of Rotation: 17.24 hours
spins backwards compared to
most other planets)
Uranus' atmosphere is about
83% hydrogen, 15% helium and 2% methane. There are also traces of
water and ammonia. The planet's atmospheric details are very
difficult to see in visible light. The methane gas above the cloud
layers gives it a blue-green colour.
Johann E. Bode, a German astronomer, named the planet after the
Greek god of the sky.
Uranus is the only planet in our Solar System to spin on its
side. The axis of rotation tilt is 98 degrees. The severe tilt to
its rotational axis may have resulted from a great collision long
Uranus is a 'Gas Giant' with no solid surface. It may have a
small, silicate-rich core, but most of its gas consists of water,
ammonia and methane. Its surface area is about 8,115,600,000 km2
More than 80 percent of the mass of Uranus is contained in an
extended liquid core consisting primarily of 'icy' materials
(water, methane and ammonia) with higher-density material at
If you know where to look, it can occasionally be spotted with
the naked eye, however, it can be hard to see due to the
similarity of the background stars.
The only spacecraft to visit Planet Uranus was the Voyager 2
spacecraft in a flyby in 1986. It
discovered 10 moons and two rings in addition to studying moons
and rings previously seen from Earth.
Moons of Uranus
Five of largest are Miranda, Titania,
Oberon, Umbriel, Ariel. The
largest moon is Titania with a radius of only 788.9 km (less than
half that of our Moon).
The Planet Uranus has many moons.
The Titania and Oberon were discovered by William Herschel in
1787. Ariel and Umbriel were discovered by William Lassell in
1851. John Herschel (William Herschel's son) gave the four then
known moons their names in 1852. In 1948 Gerard Kuiper discovered
the moon Miranda.
Many moons of Uranus have been named for characters in the
works of William Shakespeare and Alexander Pope.
More Facts on Planet Uranus - Did you
Uranus is the farthest planet that can be seen without a
Escape velocity is 76,640 km/h (47,620 mph)
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suggestions on Planet Uranus, then click on
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