10 Random Facts About Uranus


The Planet Uranus

I thought it would be fun to take a closer look at one of the planets in our Solar System so here are 10 random facts about Uranus.  Ready?  Let’s go!

Random Fact 1:  Uranus is the seventh planet from the Sun!  The sixth planet is Saturn and the eigth planet is Neptune.

Random Fact 2:  Uranus was discovered by Sir William Herschel on March 13, 1781!  Herschel was born in Germany, but emigrated to England when he was 19 years old.  Herschel not only discovered Uranus, but also found two of its major moons – Titania and Oberon.

Random Fact 3:  Uranus has rings!  Thirteen distinct rings are presently known and it is thought that the rings were probably formed by a shattered moon.

Random Fact 4:  The axis of rotation for the planet Uranus is tilted perpendicular to it’s orbit!  This means that one of it’s poles is facing directly at us and the rings can be seen as if you were looking at a large target with the center of the planet being the bulls eye.

Random Fact 5:  It takes 84 Earth years for Uranus to complete an orbit around the Sun!  Uranus is approximately 3 billion km away from the sun.  It has a very large orbit.

Random Fact 6:  Uranus has 27 known moons!  The names of these satellites were taken from the works of Shakespeare and Alexander Pope.  The biggest of the moons are:  Oberon, Umbriel, Titania, Miranda and Ariel.

Random Fact 7:  The Atmosphere of Uranus is made up of hydrogen, helium and methane.   The temperature of the outer atmosphere is around 800K.

Uranus and one of it’s moons

Random Fact 8:   Nasa’s Voyager 2 was the first and only attempt to visit the planet!  Voyager 2 was launched in 1977 and it finally made it to Uranus on January 24, 1986 (it’s closest approach).

Random Fact 9:  Uranus is named after the ancient Greek diety of the sky – Uranus!  Since Sir William Herschel found the planet, he was given the honor of naming it.

Random Fact 10:  The radioactive element Uranium was named after Uranus in 1789!  The German chemist Martin Heinrich Klaproth discovered Uranium.

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