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Welcome to Uranus

By: Tryston Conlinn


Introduction Uranus is the seventh planet from the Sun and it is the fourth largest planet in the Solar System. This planet got its wonderful name from the Greek deity of the sky Uranus. On March 13th, 1781 Sir William Herschel announced the discovery of Uranus. It was the first planet discovered through a telescope.

Climate on Uranus Even though Uranus is not the furthest planet from the Sun, it is the coldest planet in the Solar system. Just like its neighbour Neptune, it is an ice giant. Which means it does not have a solid surface and what is called its surface is just a layer of clouds that lies above a layer of what could be a water and a core of rock at the centre(so you can have a house on water.) The atmosphere of Uranus is made of 83% helium, 15% methane and 2% ethane.


The average temperature on the surface of Uranus is 49 째 Kelvin or -224째 Celsius. The reason this planet is so cold is because it has a low internal temperature. At its core Uranus is only 5000째kelvin, While Jupiter has a core temperature of 30000째 Kelvin. Scientists still do not know the reason for this lack of heat. Though they think it is related to the axial tilt that is completely unlike the other planets in the solar system. Uranus rotates at an angle of 99 degrees. Scientists also think that Uranus may have experienced a massive collision early in its history, which also is the cause for its lack of its internal heat. According to information from the Hubble Space telescope Uranus has a dynamic weather pattern. This means there are lots of changes. Uranus is swept with huge wind storms, with speeds reaching as much as 900km/hr although it receives much less energy from the Sun than Earth.


Moons of Uranus Uranus has 27 known moons and they are all named after characters from works of William Shakespeare and Alexander Pope. Uranus’s moons are separated into three different groups: thirteen inner moons, five major moons, and nine irregular moons. The inner moons are small dark bodies that share properties and origins with Uranus’s rings. The five major moons are big enough to have achieved hydrostatic equilibrium (occurs when compression from gravity is balanced by a pressure gradient force in the opposite direction) and four of them show signs of canyon formation and volcanism on their surfaces. Uranus's irregular moons have inclined orbits that reach far away from Uranus.


Explorations of Uranus Nobody has ever actually been to Uranus, but probes have flown by. Like Voyager 2. The closest approach to Uranus happened on January 24, 1986. Voyager 2 flew by it and discovered ten previously unknown moons and studied the atmosphere along with the ring system.

Orbit of Uranus Uranus revolves around the Sun once every 84 Earth years at about 6.81 km/s. The average distance from Uranus to the Sun is 2,870,990,000 km [19.218 AU (Astronomical Units)]. It takes Uranus 17 hours 14 minutes to complete a full rotation. Uranus has an eccentricity of 0.044 405 586.


Fun facts about Uranus. -The distance between Uranus and Sun is almost twice the distance from the Sun to Saturn. -Sir William Herschel was the first person to discover Uranus, on March 13, 1781. At first he thought it was a comet. -Uranus orbits the Sun on its side.

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Citations


Wikipedia contributors. "Uranus." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 2 Dec. 2010. Web. 3 Dec. 2010. Wikipedia contributors. "Exploration of Uranus." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 2 Oct. 2010. Web. 6 Dec. 2010. Wikipedia contributors. "Moons of Uranus." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 29 Oct. 2010. Web. 7 Dec. 2010. "Interesting Facts About Uranus - Fun Facts About Uranus Planet." Lifestyle Lounge - Online Lifestyle Magazine - Lifestyle Management Tips. Web. 07 Dec. 2010. <http://lifestyle.iloveindia.com/lounge/facts-about-uranus-3487.html>.


Welcome to Uranus