Day 1 2 Background 2.1 Cosmology 2.1.12 Student Overview Day 2

Uranus

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Uranus is a very unusual planet. It sits on its side with the north and south poles sticking out the sides. It rotates around this axis, making it look like a ball rolling around in a circle around the Sun.


Basic Facts

 

Uranus

Earth

Position from the Sun

7

3

Diameter

31,763 miles (51,118 km)

7,926 miles (12,753 km)

Moons

21

1

Rings

10

0

Average Distance from Sun

1,786,000,000 miles (2,875,000,000 km)

93,000,000 miles (149,000,000 km)

Your Weight on the Planet

Multiply your weight by 0.93

Multiply your weight by 1.0

Length of One Year

84 Earth years

1 Earth year

Length of One Day

17 hours and 8 minutes

24 hours

What’s in the Atmosphere?

Hydrogen, helium

Nitrogen, oxygen

Temperature

-360ºF (-220ºC)

-128ºF to 136ºF

(-89ºC to 58ºC)


Discovery

Astronomer William Herschel discovered Uranus in 1781. Using a telescope, he spotted a dim object. He watched it for years and decided it had to be a planet given its orbit.

Herschel also discovered two of Uranus’ moons in 1781. Voyager II spotted many of its other moons in 1986.

In 1977, scientists saw Uranus blink several times. They later discovered that rings surrounding the planet caused the blinking. These rings are very dark and narrow, unlike Saturn's, which are bright and colorful. Voyager II sent back many pictures that clearly show these rings.


Missions to Uranus

Mission

Launch Date

Mission Accomplishments

Voyager 2 (USA)

August 20, 1977

Took thousands of pictures of Uranus, its rings, and its moons.


Interesting Facts About Uranus


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