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Uranus Facts for Kids

Is Uranus a planet?

Uranus is the third largest planet by size and fourth largest planet by mass in our Solar System. It is one of the four gas giants, the other three being Jupiter, Saturn and Neptune.

Uranus

Uranus

Where is Uranus situated in the solar system?

It is the seventh planet from the Sun in our solar system, located between Saturn and Neptune.

Uranus Position in Solar System

Uranus Position in Solar System

When was Uranus discovered?

This planet was officially discovered by the British astronomer Sir William Herschel on 13th March, 1781. He wanted to name it Gregorian Star but later another astronomer Johann Bode suggested the name “Uranus” and it was officially selected.

How was Uranus discovered?

The earliest recorded sightings of the planet go back to 1690 when English astronomer John Flamsteed observed it a number of times but thought it was a star. From 1750 to 1769 it was again observed by a French astronomer called Pierre Lemonnier. Finally on March 13th, 1781 Sir William Herschel observed it and initially reported it as a comet. But soon Uranus was officially accepted as a planet.

What is Uranus composed of?

The atmosphere of the planet is mostly composed of Hydrogen and Helium gases. The planet has a rocky core which is believed to be layered by an icy material made up of water, methane and ammonia ice. Scientists also believe that a vast liquid body with high temperatures is present in the surface of the planet, hidden by the thick atmosphere.

Uranus Compositoin and Atmosphere

Uranus Compositoin and Atmosphere

Does Uranus have moons?

Till now, 27 moons have been discovered with Titania being the largest of them. Like Titania, other moons of Uranus are named after characters created by William Shakespeare and Alexander Pope like Oberon, Ariel and Miranda.

Uranus Moons

Uranus Moons

Does Uranus have rings?

Till now 13 distinct rings have been identified around Uranus that, unlike the rings of other gas giants, are narrow and dark.

Uranus Rings

Uranus Rings

Interesting facts about Uranus

  • This was the first planet to be discovered using a telescope.
  • It is also the coldest planet in the Solar System with temperatures dropping as low as -224 degrees.
  • Because of the presence of icy layers, it is also known as the Ice Planet.
  • The volume of the enormous planet is 63 times that of Earth, meaning we can fit almost 63 Earths in the Uranus!
Uranus and Earth Comparision

Uranus and Earth Comparision

 

  • Uranus can be seen with the naked eye without the use of telescope.
  • Having an orbital period of 84 years, each pole of the planet experiences 42 years of day and then 42 years of night.
  • High level of methane in the atmosphere is responsible for the bluish-green color of the planet.
  • Although Uranus was discovered way back in 1781, the rings around it were first identified in 1978 – after 197 years!
  • The Voyager 2 by NASA is the only space craft which passed as close as 81,500 km of the planet and returned with close up images of the planet along with its rings and moons.
Uranus as Seen from Voyager 2

Uranus as Seen from Voyager 2

  • The wind speeds here can reach upto 250m/s or 900km/hour.
  • This planet is named after Ouranos, the Greek God of the sky. Interestingly enough, all the other planets in our Solar system are named after Roman Gods.
Distance from Sun 2,871 million km
Radius 25,559 km
Diameter 51,118 km
Volume 6.833×1013 km3
Mass 8.6816×1025 kg
Density 1271 kg/m3
Surface Area 8.1156×109 km2
Circumference 159,354 km
Gravity 8.87 m/s2
Surface Temperature – 197 degrees Celsius
Orbital Period 84 Earth Years
Uranus Image

Uranus Image

Uranus Images

Uranus Images

Uranus Photo

Uranus Photo

Uranus Photos

Uranus Photos

Uranus Picture

Uranus Picture

Uranus Pictures

Uranus Pictures


Published by on May 9th 2014. Filed under Space Facts

 

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