Do you know why Uranus is so gassy. It’s not because it eats too many tacos. It’s because its upper layer is made up of hydrogen (a gas) with some helium mixed in.
Uranus is considered a “gas GIANT!”
This planet also has an icy “mantle,” which surrounds a rock and ice core. Plus, the upper atmosphere also contains water, ammonia, and methane ice crystals – that’s what gives Uranus its pale blue colour.
Read on for more fun facts on Uranus!
Did you know?
- Uranus is the seventh planet from the Sun.
- It cannot be seen without a telescope.
- This planet has 27 moons. Most of them are named after characters in Shakespeare’s Midsummer’s Night Dream.
- Uranus’ main moons are called Titania, Oberon, Ariel, Miranda, and Umbriel.
In 1781, William Herschel discovered this gassy planet. Herschel wasn’t always interested in astronomy. In fact, he first wanted to be a musician. But after he bought a book on astronomy, he was only interested in watching the sky.
- This planet orbits the Sun on its side. It takes 84 years to complete one orbit. Earth takes one-year to do the same.
- Because it orbits on its side, one pole of Uranus is in complete darkness for nearly a quarter of the time.
- A day on Uranus lasts only 17.9 hours.
If Earth were the size of an apple, Uranus would be the size of a basketball!
- Uranus has the coldest temperatures of any planet. It can reach an atmospheric temperature of -224°C (-371.2 F).
- Only one spacecraft has flown by Uranus. In 1986, the Voyager 2 spacecraft coasted past the planet at a distance of 81,500 km (50,642 miles). It a;so returned the first close-up images of the planet, its moons, and rings.
- Uranus has two sets of very thin dark-coloured rings. These ring particles are small, (from a dust-sized particles to small boulders). There are also eleven inner rings and two outer rings.
What do you think of this frigid and gassy planet? Let us know in the comments section.