Interesting Facts About Uranus Planet

The History Of Uranus

Facts about Uranus planet

Uranus, one of the Gas Planets with a diameter of 32,190 kilometers, receives its name from the divinity “Ouranos.” This name is derived from Greek mythology and means “god of the sky.” “Uranus” was the son of “Mother Earth” or “Gaia” in Greek mythology. He married Gaia and fathered several offspring, including “Cronus.”

William Herschel discovered this seventh planet from the Sun in 1781, and it is the furthest planet viewed from Earth without the use of a telescope. The planet, however, is named after the German scientist Johann Bode.


The Orbit Of Uranus

Uranus’ orbit is elliptical. The planet rotates either clockwise or retrograde. The perihelion, or closest point to the sun, is 1.7 billion miles (2.7 billion km), whereas the aphelion, or furthest point from the sun, is 1.9 billion miles (2.7 billion km) (3.0 billion km). Uranus’ orbit lasts 84 Earth years or 30,685 Earth days. Uranus has a day that lasts 17 hours and 14 minutes.

Uranus has a significant tilt on its axis of 98 degrees. This is in contrast to the Earth’s axial tilt, which is merely 23.5 degrees.

Expeditions To Uranus

There has only been one voyage to Uranus, in January 1986, by the Voyager 2 spacecraft.

While flying near Uranus, Voyager 2 obtained data on new rings in Uranus’ ring system. During this voyage, it was also able to find ten additional satellites while transmitting data on the diameter of the primary satellites and their surface topography.

During this mission, Uranus’ weather patterns and magnetic fields were also observed. Finally, Voyager 2 was able to calculate Uranus’ mass and diameter using sensors on board the spacecraft.

Despite the fact that just one voyage to Uranus was accomplished, the Voyager 2 spacecraft was able to acquire “a treasure” of data.

Exploring A Day On Uranus

A day on Uranus is somewhat longer than 17 hours since it is a gas planet, yet one year on Uranus is equivalent to 84 years on Earth.

Uranus’ atmosphere is made up of 83 percent hydrogen, 15 percent helium, and 2 percent methane, compared to 78 percent nitrogen in the Earth’s atmosphere. The atmosphere also contains trace levels of acetylene and ethane.

The hue of Uranus is one of its most distinguishing features. Uranus’ atmosphere is blue-green due to the interaction of methane gas with sunlight. This is seen as blue-green clouds enveloping the globe.

Because Uranus’ axis is tilted more than 90 degrees, the temperature at the poles is warmer than the temperature at the Equator. Uranus’ temperature fluctuates based on altitude. The temperature at the outside edge of Uranus’ atmosphere is – 355 degrees Fahrenheit, whereas closer to the “core” of Uranus, the temperature is roughly 4,200 degrees Fahrenheit.

Uranus has minor “spots” of whirling winds, but not the scale of Jupiter’s Great Red Spot or Saturn’s Great White Spot. Nonetheless, its wind system is highly powerful, with wind speeds ranging from 100 to 360 miles per hour at latitudes between the Equator and the poles. The wind system here flows in the same direction as the planet. Wind speeds in the Equator, on the other hand, are moving in the opposite direction of the planet’s rotation.

Uranus’ first rings were found in 1977. They are largely made up of dust particles. The rings are also narrower than those seen around Saturn. The ring system consists of thirteen rings. The rings’ diameters range from 3 to 60 miles, with a thickness of more than 33 feet. The brightest ring is known as the Epsilon ring, and it is the system’s outermost ring.

Because Uranus is a gas planet, scientists believe it is unlikely to have any life forms.

RingDistance from the center of Uranus (km)Width of ring
( ° )
R/2003 U297,700   
R/2003 U166,000   
Epsilon51,14920 to 960.00794 
Delta48,3003 to 70.000040.001
Gamma47,6271 to 40.001090.000
Eta47,1761.6 — —
Beta45,6615 to 110.000440.005
Alpha44,7204 to 100.000760.015
Ring 442,571~20.0010650.032
Ring 542,234~20.001900.054
Ring 641,8371.50.001010.062
R/1986 U238,000   
Table 1: The Ring System Of Uranus. (David Darling 2006).

The Satellites Of Uranus

Uranus has 27 satellites, the vast majority of which are quite tiny. Uranus’ satellites are named after figures from Pope and Shakespeare’s writings. Oberon and Titania were found by Herschel in 1787. The two other major satellites, Umbriel and Ariel, were found by William Lassell. Gerard Kuiper found Miranda, the last of the major satellites, in 1948.

Because Uranus has only been studied by one mission, nothing is known about its satellites. They range in diameter from 25 to 1,000 miles and circle Uranus for 8 to 14 days. Almost all observations have shown that Uranus’ satellites are largely made of water, ice, and rock. Many of them are cratered and have impact basins, rift valleys, or smooth plains. Some of them have mountains, such as the satellite Oberon, which has a 4-mile high peak. Except for Miranda, this is the traditional description of Uranus’ satellites.

  • Miranda

Miranda has the most intriguing typography of any satellite found, according to several experts, with a diameter of 290 miles. The satellite is largely made of rock and water ice, with a number of hills and valleys. Miranda’s surface also has huge canyons that are at least 6 kilometers deep and spherical channels known as Coronae.

The way these characteristics are placed on Miranda’s surface is the most fascinating aspect. Its surface is carelessly built, implying that this spacecraft has been regularly modified in the past. There are fresh sections of bright and dark patches indicating modern and ancient typography. Miranda lacks the smooth and tidy surface characteristics that other spacecraft have.

Miranda’s tectonic characteristics, according to scientists, are the result of historically vigorous tectonic activity on the satellite. It circles Uranus every 1.4 days and is 129,872 kilometers away.

Moons of Uranus
Table 2: The Common Satellites Of Uranus. (Space Today 2004)

Statistics About Uranus

Discovered ByWilliam Herschel
Date of Discovery1781
Average Distance from the SunMetric: 2,870,972,200 km
English: 1,783,939,400 miles
Scientific Notation: 2.8709722 x 109 km (19.191 A.U.)
By Comparison: 19.191 x Earth
Perihelion (closest)Metric: 2,735,560,000 km
English: 1,699,800,000 miles
Scientific Notation: 2.73556 x 109 km (18.286 A.U.)
By Comparison: 18.60 x Earth
Aphelion (farthest)Metric: 3,006,390,000 km
English: 1,868,080,000 miles
Scientific Notation: 3.00639 x 109 km (20.096 A.U.)
By Comparison: 19.76 x Earth
Equatorial RadiusMetric: 25,559 km
English: 15,882 miles
Scientific Notation: 2.5559 x 104 km
By Comparison: 4.007 x Earth
Equatorial CircumferenceMetric: 160,592 km
English: 99,787 miles
Scientific Notation: 1.60592 x 105 km
VolumeMetric: 69,142,000,000,000 km3
Scientific Notation: 5.9142 x 1013 km3
By Comparison: 63.1 x Earth
MassMetric: 86,849,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 kg
Scientific Notation: 8.6849 x 1025 kg
By Comparison: 14.371 x Earth’s
DensityMetric: 1.30 g/cm3
By Comparison: 0.236 x Earth
Surface AreaMetric: 8,115,600,000 km2
English: 3,133,400,000 square miles
Scientific Notation: 8.1156 x 109 km2
By Comparison: 15.91 x Earth
Equatorial Surface GravityMetric: 8.43 m/s2
English: 27.7 ft/s2
By Comparison: If you weigh 100 pounds on Earth, you would weigh 86 pounds on Uranus.
Escape VelocityMetric: 76,640 km/h
English: 47,620 mph
Scientific Notation: 21,290 m/s
By Comparison: 1.904 x Earth
Sidereal Rotation Period (Length of Day)-0.7196 Earth days (retrograde)
-17.24 hours (retrograde)
By Comparison: 0.722 x Earth
Sidereal Orbit Period (Length of Year)84.02 Earth years
30,687.2 Earth days
Mean Orbit VelocityMetric: 24,607 km/h
English: 15,290 mph
Scientific Notation: 6,835.2 m/s
By Comparison: 0.229 x Earth
Orbital Eccentricity.047168
By Comparison: 2.823 x Earth
Orbital Inclination to Ecliptic0.770 degrees
Equatorial Inclination to Orbit97.86 degrees
By Comparison: 4.173 x Earth
Orbital CircumferenceMetric: 17,620,000,000 km
Scientific Notation: 1.762 x 1010 km
By Comparison: 19.06 x Earth
Effective TemperatureMetric: -216 °C
English: -357 °F
Scientific Notation: 57 K
Atmospheric ConstituentsHydrogen, Helium, Methane
Scientific Notation: H2, He, CH4
By Comparison: Earth’s atmosphere consists mostly of N2 and O2.
Table 3: Concise statistics on the planet Uranus (N.A.S.A. 2006)


Col, Jeananda. 1996. “Uranus.” Enchanted Learning.

Darling, David. 2006. “Uranus’ Rings.”

Encyclopedia Britannica. 2006. “Uranus.” Encyclopedia Britannica Premium Service. 2006

Gierasch, Peter J., and Philip D. Nicholson. 2004. “Uranus.” World Book Online Reference Center. World Book, Inc.

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (N.A.S.A). 2006. “Uranus: Facts & Figures.”

Space Today Online. “The Moons Of Uranus.” 2004.

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