Uranus, the seventh planet from sun, was the first planet discovered with a telescope. It’s a strange, one-sided world, with thin rings and dozens of moons.
In 2022, Uranus is chosen by planetary scientists as the top target in the solar system for exploration, and NASA is expected to launch a new probe in the 2030s, which will explore Uranus. in more detail than ever before. In English, the name of the planet can be pronounced in two ways – YOU’-rin-us and you-RAIN’-us. Both invite the beautiful puns that have made Uranus the laughing stock of the schoolyard for generations.
Uranus got its name?
In 1781, astronomer Frederick William Herschel discovered Uranus through his telescope, making it the first planet discovered in the modern scientific era. according to NASA. Herschel initially thought he was looking at a comet or a star, but observations by other astronomers, including Johann Elert Bode in the late 1700s, eventually proved it to be a planet. newly found.
German-British Herschel tried to name the world Georgium Sidus after King George III, but Bode suggested Uranus – the Greek god of the sky – should stick.
What is Uranus made of?
Like its neighbor Neptune, Uranus is known as an ice giant, meaning that 80% or more of the planet’s mass is a dense hot liquid consisting of icy materials. including water, methane and ammonia, according to NASA. This material is not ice in the usual sense; rather, it’s like a compressed mud, According to the Astronomical Journal. The term “ice giant” “began to appear in the 1990s when researchers realized that Uranus and Neptune are structurally quite different from the gas giants Jupiter and Neptune.” Earth, they’re almost entirely made of hydrogen and helium.
At its innermost part, Uranus has a small rocky core that heats up to 9,000 degrees Fahrenheit (4,982 degrees Celsius), according to NASA. The extreme temperatures and pressures around the core mean it can be encased in elements compressed into exotic quantum statesand their quantum weirdness converts into a super-pressurized “soup” that will thin out closer to the surface.
Uranus’s atmosphere is mostly hydrogen and helium, with a small amount of methane, giving the planet its blue color, according to NASA.. In 2021, researchers discovered beautiful infrared aurora in its upper atmosphere.
Beneath the atmosphere, the planet’s extreme heat and pressure tore apart methane molecules and released carboncan render into crystalline form and create diamond rain on Uranus. Stinky ammonia mixture could also fall through the planet’s sky as methane decays.
Uranus is slightly larger than Neptunewith a diameter of 31,518.4 miles (50,724 km), but a smaller mass overall, making it the second-lowest density planet after Saturn, according to NASA. The minimum temperature on this planet can reach minus 371 F (minus 224 C), which means it is even colder than Neptune in some places.
How far is Uranus from the sun?
Uranus is 1.8 billion miles (2.9 billion km) from the sun on average, nearly 20 times farther than Earth, according to NASA. The year of Uranus is equivalent to about 84 Earth years, although a day on Uranus lasts only about 17 hours.
The system has an extreme axial tilt, with the planet, its rings and moon all tilted more than 90 degrees relative to the plane of the solar system. No one knows exactly how or why this happens, but most astronomers suspect that Uranus is being hit by an object the size of an icy Earth sometime in the distant past.
Have humans discovered Uranus yet?
Only one spacecraft has ever visited Uranus: the Voyager 2 probe, which launched from Earth in 1977 and reached the blue-ice giant in 1986, according to the Planetary Society. The robotic messenger arrived within 50,600 miles (81,500 km) of the planet’s cloud tops, discovering 10 new moons, two new rings, and Saturn’s stronger magnetic field, according to NASA.
In a survey of the decade 2022 in which planetary scientists set priorities in the field for the next 10 years, experts chose a new flagship mission to Uranus as the scientific target. top academics, as Live Science’s sister site reports, Space.com. Researchers are eager to explore Uranus because of its many mysteries, such as Mysterious X-rays have been seen erupting from the planet, and also because clues about Uranus can inform scientists’ understanding of exoplanetsbecause of a large number of recent discoveries of the same size as Uranus and Neptune.
According to Space.com, a future Uranus probe will be worth about $4.2 billion and will launch in 2031 or 2032 to reach the planet in 2044 or 2045. It will orbit the system in several years, studying the planet’s interior, atmosphere, and magnetosphere, and visiting the fascinating icy moons and its thin rings.
How many moons does Uranus have?
Uranus has 27 confirmed moons, according to NASA. All are named for characters in the works of playwright William Shakespeare or poet Alexander Pope. In alphabetical order, they are: Ariel, Belinda, Bianca, Caliban, Cordelia, Cressida, Cupid, Desdemona, Ferdinand, Francisco, Juliet, Mab, Margaret, Miranda, Oberon, Ophelia, Perdita, Portia, Prospero, Puck, Rosalind, Setebos, Stephano, Sycorax, Titania, Trinculo and Umbriel.
The five largest moons of Uranus are Miranda, Ariel, Umbriel, Oberon and Titania. Uranus also hosts a sophisticated ring system. It was first discovered in 1977 when astronomers observed the planet passing in front of a distant star and saw changes in the star’s light indicating the presence of rings. band, according to NASA.
Could there be life on Uranus?
NASA does not consider Uranus is a place conducive to life as we know it. It is possible that some of the planet’s larger moons harbor huge reservoirs of liquid water beneath their icy surfaces, potentially habitable, according to Space.com.
https://www.livescience.com/what-is-uranus Uranus: Facts about the sideways ice giant