Ultimate Uranus

Uranus in infra red light
Image Credit: Hubblesite.org, via CC

With gas the surface is covered,

I was the first to be discovered.

Named after a roman God of heaven,

I am the planet number seven.

Travelling to Uranus is so difficult that you would lose a lot of weight on the way. When you arrive at Uranus, you would weigh much lesser than what you weigh on Earth. Ha! Now that was a joke. Well, it would take you many years to reach Uranus in a rocket. However, you would weigh lesser because the gravity of Uranus is weaker than the Earth. Uranus is similar to Saturn and Jupiter in that it is a gas giant. It is just gas and liquid, with no land. It is extremely cold and windy. While the outside is extremely cold, the inside is superheated. The liquid inside is made up of water, methane and ammonia.

The methane that bubbles up to the clouds makes the planet look blue -green.

It was amongst the first planets that was discovered in 1781 by William Herschel. William Herschel named it Georgian Sidus (George’s star) after King George III. Some called it Herschel. Since 1850, scientists have been calling it Uranus.

There is something very strange about this planet. Its axis is titled sideways as if someone kicked it. So the line between its north pole and south pole is parallel to the equator of all the other planets. Uranus rotates on its axis every 17 hours, and that is the duration of the day. However, its orbit around the sun completes in 30, 688 days. Whoa! That is 84 years on Earth. Imagine how long would be the winter or summer on Uranus?

Uranus is 14 times more massive than the Earth. It has a total of 27 moons, some named after the characters from the play of Shakespeare and Alexander Pope. It has two sets of rings, but they are very thin so not very visible.

We know little about Uranus because it is so far away. In fact, some of its moons were only discovered in 2003. Maybe it has more moons, who knows?

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