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Planet Uranus

The Hubble Space Telescope took this picture of Uranus. You can see bands and a dark spot in Uranus’ atmosphere.

Uranus is the seventh planet from the Sun. It is the third largest planet by diameter but smaller in mass than Neptune.

Uranus is the only planet whose name is derived from a figure from Greek mythology. It was named for Uranus, the Greek god of the sky.

Uranus became the first planet discovered with the use of a telescope. It was discovered by Sir William Herschel in 1781.

It rotates at a nearly 90-degree angle from the plane of its orbit. This unique tilt makes Uranus appear to spin on its side, orbiting the sun like a rolling ball.

Uranus has 13 known rings and 27 moons.

One day on Uranus takes about 17 hours (the time it takes for Uranus to rotate or spin once). And Uranus makes a complete orbit around the sun (a year in Uranian time) in about 84 Earth years (30,687 Earth days).

Uranus is often referred to as an “ice giant” planet. It is the coldest temperatures in the solar system with minimum atmospheric temperature of -224°C.

Uranus wind speeds can reach up to 900 km per hour. This is roughly 560 miles per hour.

Uranus is the second least dense planet in the solar system, after Saturn.

The Voyager 2 is the only spacecraft to have flown by Uranus. On January 24 1986, the spacecraft swept past the planet at a distance of 81,500 km. It returned the first close-up images of the planet, its moons, and rings.




Image Credit: www.spaceplace.nasa.gov

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