Is Uranus a planet?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
- 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|
|Surface Area||8.1156×109 km2|
|Surface Temperature||– 197 degrees Celsius|
|Orbital Period||84 Earth Years|