There’s much to know about the pale blue planet affectionally known as Uranus. For example, did you know that it was discovered in 1781 but had actually been seen many times before. Uranus’s original name was Georgian Sidus? Or that it needs about eighty-four Earth years to revolve around the sun? If you want to find out more then buckle your seat belt and take a ride with us, because these are 25 Facts About Uranus You May Not Know
Uranus is the seventh planet from the sun, and has the third-largest planetary radius and fourth-largest planetary mass in the solar system.
It’s not visible to the naked eye and was the first planet discovered with the use of a telescope.
Uranus was officially discovered by Sir William Herschel in 1781.
William Herschel was born in Hanover, Germany. He moved to England in 1757 in order to pursue a career as a musician but after buying a book on astronomy he became interested only in watching the sky.
Uranus is too dim to have been seen by the ancients. At first Herschel thought it was a comet, but several years later it was confirmed to be a planet.
The name comes from the ancient Greek deity Ouranos, the earliest supreme Greek god of the heavens whose sons were the Giants and Titans.
However, Herschel tried to have his discovery named “Georgian Sidus” after King George III. The name Uranus was suggested by astronomer Johann Bode.
The planet rotates in a retrograde direction, opposite of the way Earth and most other planets turn.
And because Uranus lies on its side as it orbits the sun, for nearly a quarter of its orbit one of its poles is in complete darkness
Uranus is the smallest of the four “giants,” (the others being Jupiter, Saturn, and Neptune), but is still several times larger than Earth. It has a diameter of 29,297 miles, or 47,150 kilometers, compared to Earth’s diameter of just under 8,000 miles, or 12,760 kilometers.
But like the other gas giants Uranus has a hydrogen upper layer, which has helium mixed in. Below that is an icy mantle, which surrounds a rock and ice core, which is the reason why Uranus is often referred to as an “ice giant” planet. The upper atmosphere is made of water, ammonia, and the methane ice crystals that give the planet its pale blue color