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Uranus planet is the 7th planet from the sun, it got its name from Uranus god. The following information about Uranus gives interesting facts and details about this planet.
Interesting Facts About Uranus
- Uranus is the seventh planet from theSun; it covers a distance of 2,870,972,170km from the sun.
- William Herschel discovered Uranus in 13th, 1781, which he initially thought, was a star but several years later it was confirmed as a planet because it follows a planetary orbit.
- Uranus has two sets of very thin dark colored rings and 27 moons which the few notable ones are Miranda,Titania, Ariel, Umbriel, Oberon, Cordelia and Francisco.
- Uranian moons are named for the characters created by William Shakespeare and Alexander Pope.
- Uranus takes 30,687 days (84 years) to complete a single rotation round the sun and it takes 17 hours, 14 minutes for Uranus to go round its axis once.
- Uranus is often called an ice giant planet, it has hydrogen and helium upper layer like the other gas giants.
- In 1986, The Voyager 2 happens to be the only spacecraft to have flown by Uranus returning with the first close-up images of the planet, its moons and the rings
- At the upper atmosphere, there is evidence of water, ammonia and methane ice crystals, which is believed to be what give Uranus its pale blue color.
- The atmosphere below the Uranus cloud is made of hydrogen and helium like Jupiter and Saturn.
- Uranus is over 19 times further away from the sun than the Earth hence, it is the coldest planet in the solar system followed by Neptune.
What is Uranus?
Uranus is the third largest planet in the solar system and the 7th planet from the sun (that is the distance in order from the sun). It is the coldest planet in the Solar System and very windy. When viewed from a distance with a telescope, you could notice a cloud of atmosphere above the surface.
Astronomer William Herschel discovered Uranus in March 13, 1781. Before the discovery, the planet was thought to be a star due to it dimness and slow orbit which makes it difficult to view from afar, but several years later, it was confirmed as a planet.
Uranus and Neptune have a similar in composition and they both have different bulk chemical composition different from that of the largerplanetsJupiterandSaturn which are also known as the gas giants. Based on these facts, scientists often classify Uranus and Neptune as “ice giants” to differentiate them from Jupiter and Saturn (the gas giants). The mass of Uranus is about 14.5 times the mass of Earth, making it the lightest of the four gas giants of the outer solar system, it is very light because it is formed from light substances.
Uranus god (How Uranus got its name)
Uranus was named after the ancient Greek deity Ouranos, the earliest of the lords of the heavens, however, it is the only planet named after a Greek god.Before the conclusion on this name, Uranus was called by other names including Hypercronius (“above Saturn”), Minerva (the Roman goddess of wisdom). William Herscal tried to name the planet after discovering it the Georgian planet after Georgian Sidus the King George III of England. Since the name was unpopular outside of England, the German astronomer Johann Bode gave the planet its ultimate name Uranus after he has detailed its’ orbit.
What color is Uranus?
Uranus is blue-green in color, the clouds of Uranus looks bluish-green because of the methane gas in the atmosphere above them. Uranus planet is often termed an ice giant since 80 percent or more of its mass is made up of a fluid mix with water, ammonia ices and methane ice crystals which give the planet its pale blue color, Scientists thought that at the very center of Uranus, there could be a core of ice and rock. Uranus is visible to the naked eye in a dark sky, and becomes an easy target even in urban conditions with the use of binoculars.
What is Uranus made of?
Uranus is made of water, frozen methane, and ammonia fluids above a small rocky center. Its atmosphere below the cloud is made of hydrogen and helium like Jupiter and Saturn. Deep in the atmosphere, the gases have been compressed together to form a liquid.
Does Uranus have rings?
Uranus also has faint rings which are not so bright around it, the inner rings are narrow and contain extremely dark particles which vary in size, from a dust-sized particles to small boulders. Presently, about thirteen rings have been discovered, eleven inner rings and two outer rings.The outer rings are brightly colored and easier to identify when viewed from afar. In 1986, the Voyager 2 was the only spacecraft to have flown by Uranus, it swept past the planet at a distance of 81,500 km. This mission returned the first close-up images of the planet, its orbiting moons, and its ring system.
Uranus has 27 small moons as it rotates at a nearly 90-degree angle from the plane of its orbit; its first four moons were named after magical spirits in English literature from the characters created by William Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and Alexander Pope’s “The Rape of the Lock. Oberon and Titania are the first and largest Uranium moons that were discovered by Herschel in 1787. These moons are probably made up of ice and rock with frozen dark surfaces. Miranda, which is the strangest Uraniun moon is surrounded with ice canyons, terraces, and other strange-looking surface areas. At the top of the moon cliffs, a winding valleys are noticed which may indicate partial melting of the interior, with icy material occasionally pushing to the surface.
Uranus Rotation Period
Uranus covers a distance of 2,870,972,170km from the sun; this distance is 19 times further than Earth. It takes 84 years for Uranus to complete a single rotation round the sun but it takes 17 hours 14 minutes for Uranus to rotate on its axis once. Its equatorial diameter is 31,764 miles (51,119km) and the polar diameter is 49,946 km.
Uranus rotates in the opposite direction of the majority of the other planets in its system just like Venus planet. Unlike any other planet, Uranusaxis of rotationis tilted sideways, nearly into the plane of its solar orbit. This unique tilt makes Uranus to look as if it spins on its side, orbiting the sun like a rolling ball. Uranus north and south poles, however, rest where most of the other planets have theirequators. Most of the time, one or the other of its poles point directly at the Sun and get about 42 years of direct sunlight (during some parts of its orbit). The rest of the time, they are in darkness.
The temperature at the top of the cloud is -3700F (-2200C) and has an average temperature of 1700C. There is extreme pressure and temperature deep within Uranus, these high pressure and temperature may split up the methane molecules, with the carbon atoms condensing into crystals of diamond that rain down through the mantle like hailstones. The internal temperature seems noticeably lower (as low as -2200C) than that of the other giant planets which makes Uranus the coldest planet in the solar system since it is over 19 times further away from the sun than the Earth. However, the reason behind the low temperature is yet to be known. Many hypotheses have been set up to explain why Uranus internal temperature is lower. One hypothesis says that some form of barrier could exist within Uranus’s upper layers which could prevents the core’s heat from reaching the surface, another hypotheses also suggests that when Uranus was hit by a supermassive impactor which caused it to expel most of its primordial heat, it was left with a depleted core temperature. This hypothesis is also used in some studies to explain the planet’s axial tilt.
Uranus Atmosphere and Composition
Uranus atmosphere contains a high percentage of methane, it upper atmosphere is composed primarily of hydrogen and helium and traces of water and ammonia with higher-density material at depth. The fluid is said to have a high electrical conductivity and its sometimes called a waterammonia ocean. The extreme axial tilt Uranus experiences can result in unusual weather. This planet experiences seasonal changes and increase weather activity such as massive storm and diamond rain, which is said to fall thousands of miles below the surfaces of the icy giant planets such as Uranus and Neptune.
According to NASA, as sunlight reflect over some areas for the first time in years, it warms up the atmosphere, which gives rise to gigantic springtime storms roughly the size of North America Diamond rain.