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Uranus

Uranus

Uranus is the 7th planet from the Sun, a gas giant.

Geography

Keywords

Uranus, rings of Uranus, Solar System, gas giant, outer planet, Miranda, Ariel, Umbriel, Titania, Oberon, Sun, planet, astronomy, astrophysics, geography, physics

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Uranus is one of the gas giants (Jupiter-like planets) of the Solar System, the fourth planet from the Earth, an outer planet. Its atmosphere consists of hydrogen (83%) and helium (15%), with some methane and ammonia.
Methane in the upper atmosphere absorbs red light, giving the planet a pale blue-green hue. Few details of the surface are visible. Clouds are moving along the latitudes, as in the case of Jupiter and Saturn, but they are much fainter.

Definitions:

Outer planets: Gas giants in the Solar System beyond the asteroid belt.

Gas planets (Jupiter-like planets): Celestial bodies not emitting any light of their own, composed of light elements (hydrogen, helium, ammonia, methane).
Gas planets have low average density, but large volume, and no solid surface. They have thick, dense, opaque atmospheres, the mass of which is the dominant part of the total mass of the planet. They have several satellites and ring systems.

Data:

Diameter: 51,118 km (31,760 mi or 4.01 Earths)

Mass: 8.68×10²⁵ kg (1.91×10²⁶ lb or 14.5 Earths)

Average density: 1.27 g/cm³ (0.046 lb/in³)

Surface gravity: 0.886 g

Surface temperature: -210 °C (-346 °F)

Number of moons: 27

Rotation period: 17 h 17 m (retrograde)

Axial tilt: 97.77° (tilted 7.77° below the orbital plane)

Average distance from the Sun:
2,871,000,000 km = 1,784,000,000 mi = 19,19 AU = 2.39 light hours

Orbital eccentricity: 0.047

Orbital period: 84.01 years

Miranda:

Average distance from Uranus:
129,390 km (80,400 mi)

diameter: 471 km (293 mi)

Miranda is the smallest and innermost of the large moons. It orbits Uranus once every 1.4 days. The surface of the moon is varied. Areas of old, cratered terrain alternate with with enormous cliffs, grooves and valleys, formed later. About half of its material is ice, and half is rock.

Ariel:

Average distance from Uranus: 191,020 km (118,700 mi)

diameter: 1,158 km (719.5 mi)

Umbriel:

Average distance from Uranus: 266,000 km (165,300 mi)

diameter: 1,169 km (726 mi)

Titania:

Average distance from Uranus: 435,900 km (270,900 mi)

diameter: 1,578 km (980 mi)

Titania is the largest moon of Uranus. Its orbital period is nearly 9 days. Its surface is covered with ice, intersected by valleys and craters. The largest crater is the Gertrude Basin, 200 km (124 mi) in diameter.

Oberon:

Average distance from Uranus: 583,500 km (362,600 mi)

diameter: 1,522 km (946 mi)

  • - The core is surrounded by a mantle of about 18,000 km (11,180 mi) thickness, consisting of methane ice, water and ammonia.

  • average distance from the Sun: 2,871,000,000 km (1,784,000,000 mi)

  • - The core is surrounded by a mantle of about 18,000 km (11,180 mi) thickness, consisting of methane ice, water and ammonia.

Narration

Uranus was first observed by the Englishman Sir William Herschel, who initially thought it was a comet. After some debate about the name, German astronomer Johann Bode's suggestion was accepted; thus the planet was named Uranus, which fit well with the Greek-Latin nomenclature of planets.
Uranus was the Greek god of the sky, husband of Gaia, Mother Earth; he was one of the primordial Greek gods. He was the father of the Titans and the cyclopes.

Uranus is one of the gas giants or Jovian planets; the fourth planet from the Earth, an outer planet. Its atmosphere consists of 83% hydrogen and 15% helium, with some methane and ammonia.
Methane in the upper atmosphere absorbs red light, giving the planet a pale blue-green hue. Few details of the surface are visible. Clouds move along the latitudes, as in the case of Jupiter and Saturn, but they are much fainter.
The core of Uranus, which contains solid material, is surrounded by a mantle of liquid water, ammonia and methane.

Its axial tilt is greater than 90°, with one of the poles constantly facing the Sun. This pole is warmer than the equator. This large axial tilt may be due to a collision with a protoplanetary object billions of years ago.
Uranus, like the Earth, has a strong magnetic field. It is strange that the magnetic axis is tilted at a 59-degree angle to the axis of rotation and that the magnetic axis does not pass through the centre of the planet. The magnetic field was formed inside the planet, but it is not known what created it.

11 rings and 27 moons are known. The rings consist of meter-sized, dark, icy rocks. Unlike other objects in the Solar System, the moons of Uranus were not named after characters in ancient mythology, but after characters from Shakespeare's work and from The Rape of the Lock, the satirical poem by the English poet, Alexander Pope.

Miranda is the smallest and innermost of the large moons. It orbits Uranus once every 1.4 days. The surface of the moon is varied. Areas of old, cratered terrain alternate with enormous cliffs, grooves and valleys, formed later. About half of its material is ice, and half is rock.

Titania is Uranus' largest moon. Its orbital period is nearly nine days. Its surface is covered with ice, intersected by valleys and craters. The largest crater is a Basin known as Gertrude, which is 200 km (124 mi) in diameter.

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The Solar System; planetary orbits

The orbits of the 8 planets in our Solar System are elliptical.

Earth

The Earth is a rocky planet with a solid crust and oxygen in its atmosphere.

Jupiter

Jupiter is the largest planet of the Solar System, it has two and a half times the mass of all the other planets combined.

Kepler´s laws of planetary motion

The three important laws describing planetary motion were formulated by Johannes Kepler.

Mars

Possible traces of water and life are sought on Mars.

Mars Exploration Program

Space probes and Mars rovers examine the structure of Mars and possible traces of life.

Mercury

Mercury is innermost and smallest planet of the Solar System.

Milky Way

The diameter of our galaxy is about 100,000 light years; it contains more than 100 billion stars, one of which is our Sun.

Neptune

Neptune is the outermost planet of the Solar System, the smallest of the giant planets

Pluto - Charon system

The largest satellite of Pluto is Charon.

Saturn

Saturn is the second largest planet in the Solar System, easily recognisable by its rings.

The Cassini-Huygens Mission (1997-2017)

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The Dawn mission

Studying Ceres and Vesta will help us learn more about the early history of the Solar System and how rocky planets are formed.

The New Horizons mission

The New Horizons space probe was launched in 2006, with the objective to study Pluto and the Kuiper Belt.

The Sun

The diameter of the Sun is about 109 times that of the Earth. Most of its mass consists of hydrogen.

Venus

Venus is the 2nd planet from the Sun, the brightest object on the night sky (after the Moon).

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