Uranus Amazing Facts

25 Amazing and Interesting Facts about Uranus | Amazing Facts 4U 

  1. From Sun, Uranus is the 7th planet and is the 3rd gas giant to live in our Solar System.
  2. Uranus gets its name from Ouranos , a Greek sky deity.
  3. The planet was accidentally discovered in 1781 by Sir William Herschel , a British astronomer. He thought it to be a star. One year later it was discovered by him it was a planet.
  4. The chemical element Uranium, discovered in 1789, was named after the newly discovered planet Uranus.
  5. This planet has an unusual blue green color which comes from abundance of methane in hydrogen helium atmosphere of the planet.
  6. This planet is actually the coldest planet in solar system with an atmospheric temperature of -224 degrees centigrade and surface temperature of -197 degrees centigrade.
  7. Uranus is referred to as ice giant because 80% of Uranus mass is made of a fluid mix of ammonia ice, methane ice and water ice in the mantle. The core of Uranus is made of magnesium silicate and iron.
  8. Hydrogen gives the maximum volume to the planet’s atmosphere and makes up 82.5% of the total mass , Helium taking up 15.2% and methane 2.3%.
  9. If Uranus mass is considered , 25% is taken up by rocks, 5-15% is taken up by helium and hydrogen and 60-70% is taken by ice.
  10. It has amazing 99 degrees tilt with the result that it actually revolves around the sun on its side with it’s axis pointing almost directly to the sun. In contrast the axis of the Earth’s rotation is tilted 23.5 degrees away from the Sun’s plane.
  11. It is believed that an Earth-sized planet may have collided with Uranus which forced its axis to drastically shift. This tilt is actually responsible for extreme seasons found on the planet. In fact it experiences seasons that are 20 year long with sun shining directly on each pole for 20 years.
  12. It rotates or completes one spin in 17 hours and 14 minutes and completes one revolution around the sun in 84 Earth years following almost a circular orbit. This means that the planet always maintains almost equal distance from Sun.
  13. if you could stand on the north pole of Uranus which is tilted towards sun, you would see the Sun rise in the sky and circle around for 42 years long summer  followed by 42 years of winter and darkness.
  14. The Equatorial and Polar diameters of the planet are 51,118 and 49,946 kilometers respectively.
  15. Uranus has been found to have 27 moons. The two largest moons of Uranus are Titania and Oberon. These were first discovered in 1787 by William Herschel.
  16. In terms of density, Uranus is the second least densest planet to live in our Solar System after Saturn. The density of Uranus is 1.23 grams per cubic centimeter and it wouldn’t float on water.
  17. Uranus is about 14.5 times as big as Earth. However, because of low density of Uranus, it’s gravity is 89% compared to that on Earth.
  18. Uranus looks like a big blue planet without any colorful bands for storms as found on Saturn and Jupiter. Some cloud patterns are only visible with infrared telescope.
  19. The climatic conditions on Uranus are extreme. After long chilled winters when sunlight reaches the dark areas for the first time, the atmosphere gets heated up and this leads to massive spring storms.
  20. Amazingly Uranus wind speeds can reach up to 900 km per hour.
  21. Uranus has rings but not as prominent as that of Saturn but nevertheless are second most dramatic in solar system. The rings of Uranus are made of dark objects and hence, they are not easily visible.
  22. Uranus has about 13 narrow rings which are only a few kilometers wide. The rings are probably quite young, and are not believed to have formed with Uranus.
  23. Uranus is bright enough to fit within the brightness scale of human eyes but difficult to spot. With a magnitude of 5.3, the planet can be observed using a set of binoculars in a bright sky backdrop. Against a darker backdrop, it will be very difficult to see this planet even with binoculars.
  24. one of the most distinguishing features of Uranus with respect to the other gas giants is that it does not emit more energy than it receives from the Sun. In contrast even Neptune, which is very similar produces approximately 2.6 times the amount of heat that it receives from the Sun.
  25. Uranus has been visited by humans only once by Voyager 2 of NASA that performed a flyby in 1986 and reached as close as 81,000 kilometers from it.

By Amazing Facts 4U Team

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