Uranus...The mysterious blue planet
Uranus is the 7th planet from the Sun and it`s considered to be a gas giant because of its mass. Uranus is very far away from the Sun. Actually, it`s almost 1.8 billion miles away from the Sun! That means it`s about twice as far from the Sun as Saturn is.
When you look at this planet with a telescope, It`s not very impressive. Visually, it doesn`t seem to have many distinctive features, other than its bluish-green color.
This blue color comes from the methane in the planet`s atmosphere. This gas causes the red light from the Sun to be absorbed instead of reflected.
The stuff that planets are made of
The solar system`s 7th planet is made of a mixture of liquid hydrogen, hydrogen, helium, and small amounts of methane. And just like Jupiter and Saturn, it most likely has a rocky core.
A tilted planet
When Voyager 2 passed by the planet in 1986, we learned that this mysterious planet is tilted on its axis 98 degrees. Scientists think this is because of a collision with a very large object.
Did you know that Uranus has rings around it?
Something else that we learned from the Voyager 2 mission is that the planet has 11 rings around it. The rings are made of ice and rocky boulders.
Planetary magnetic field
The 7th planet from the Sun is enveloped by a magnetic field just like the Earth is. This field is made of small electrically charged particles called ions.
Here are some facts that you may not know:
- The 7th planet is named for the Greek god of the heavens.
- It was discovered in 1781 by Sir william Hershel.
- It has at least 27 moons.
- A year on this planet is equivalent to 84 years on Earth.
- A day is 17.2 hours.
- Its mass is 14.5 times greater than the Earth`s mass.
who knows what mysteries The solar system`s 7th planet holds for us. For the curious stargazer, the only thing to do is to get your telescope out have a look at it for yourself!
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