Uranus

The Gaseous Planet

Where did Uranus get it's name?

The planet Uranus, while not having the most fortunate name, Uranus is the Latinized version of Ouranos, the Greek god of the sky. Or the first, at least. But all of the other planets are named after Roman gods. Uranus is Earth's husband. Uranus is Saturn's father, Neptune, Pluto's and Jupiter's grandfather, is great-grandfather to all other planets. This is the origin of Uranus's name.

The Characteristics of Uranus

Uranus is closely related to Neptune. Contrary to popular belief, Uranus, like Saturn, has rings. Neptune and even Jupiter has rings as well. Uranus is the seventh planet from the sun. Uranus has 14.536 as much mass as Earth. That's 8.68103 X 10 to the 17th power Kg! Uranus can only be viewed with a telescope. It was discovered in 1781 by Sir William Herschel. Uranus is the coldest planet, measuring as low as - 224 degrees Celsius.

Fun Facts

  • Sir William Herschel's original name for the planet was Georgium Sidus, or George's Star, because King George was reigning at the time.
  • Uranus and Venus both rotate in a retrogade direction, opposite of all other planets.
  • It takes Uranus 84 earth days to orbit full around the sun.
  • The element Uranium was named after the newly discovered planet in 1789.
  • The only spacecraft to ever pass this planet was the Voyager 2.
  • Uranus's rings weren't discovered until 1977.

Facts about Uranus

  • Uranus has twenty seven known moons.
  • Uranus has thirteen known rings.
  • All of Uranus's moons are named after characters by William Shakespeare and Alexander Pope
  • Miranda, Uranus's smallest moon, has ice canyons and other strange formations.

Bibliography

  1. www.space.com
  2. theplanets.org/uranus