Facts about the planet Uranus

Facts about Uranus
  1. The sun: Uranus is the seventh planet from the sun. The distance from Uranus to the Sun is 2.9 trillion kilometers
  2. Day: 1 day on Uranus (the time it takes Uranus to rotate once around itself) is 17 hours
  3. Year: 1 year on Uranus (the time it takes Uranus to revolve once around the sun) equals 84 years on Earth
  4. Surface: Uranus is a so-called ‘gas giant’ and therefore has no solid surface. The majority of the planet consists of water, methane and ammonia. However, Uranus also has a small rocky core
  5. Atmosphere: The atmosphere of Uranus consists mainly of hydrogen and helium with small amounts of methane. In addition, there are also traces of water and ammonia in the atmosphere
  6. Moons: Uranus has 27 moons named after characters in the works of William Shakespeare and Alexander Pope
  7. Rings: Uranus has 13 rings, but they are very small compared to Saturn’s. The inner rings are dark and thin, while the outer rings are light in color (one is blue and the other red). The rings have been discovered several times and the most recent was observed in 2005 by the Hubble Telescope
  8. Spacecraft: Voyager 2 is the only spacecraft to have visited Uranus
  9. Liv: Life – as we know it – cannot survive on Uranus
  10. Name: The discoverer of Uranus, William Herschel, wanted to name the planet Georgian Sidus after King George III, but instead the name Uranus was chosen, which is also the name of the sky god from Greek mythology
Fact: Uranus gets its blue-green color from methane gas in the atmosphere
Attribution: Magnus Manske – Wikipedia.org

Fact: The blue-green color of Uranus is caused by methane gas in the atmosphere absorbing the red part of the sunlight and reflecting back the blue and green parts


More facts about Uranus

  • Winter: A winter on Uranus lasts 21 years (on Earth)
  • Discovery: Uranus was the first planet to be discovered using a telescope. The discovery was made on March 13, 1781 by astronomer William Herschel, who originally thought the planet was a comet or star
  • Struggling: Uranus is referred to – along with Neptune – as one of the two ice giants, but is also one of the four gas giants (Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune and Uranus)
  • Color: Uranus’ blue-green color is due to methane gas in the atmosphere; sunlight passing through the atmosphere is reflected by Uranus’ upper clouds. Methane absorbs the red part of the light, resulting in the blue-greenish color
  • Rotation: Uranus rotates backwards (retrograde – i.e. east to west) like Venus, but unlike Venus (and all the other planets in the solar system), Uranus rotates sideways, meaning it rotates horizontally
  • Sunlight: Due to Uranus’ unusual sideways rotation, extreme variations in the amount of sunlight occur for periods of every 20 years. These periods are due to the sun shining directly on each of Uranus’ poles for about a quarter of the year (84 Earth years), leaving the rest of the planet in a long, dark winter
Uranus profile
Mass: 8,6832×1025 kg (14,536 x Earth)
Eccentricity: 0,04725744
Diameter at the equator: 51.118 km
Circumference at the equator: 159,354.1 km
Circulation speed: 6.81 km/s
Aphelion: 3,006,318,143 km
Perihelion 2,734,998,229,229 km
Average distance from the sun: 2,876,679,082 km
Surface temperature: -216 °C