Naming of Uranus
Johann E. Bode, a German astronomer, named the planet after the Greek god of the sky.
Physical Characteristics of Uranus
- Diameter- 51,500 km (32,000 miles).
- Mass- 8.6849e25 kg.
- Third largest Gas Giant.
- Surface area- ruffly 8,115,600,000 km squared.
- Has more of a cyan color.
- Uranus has an axial tilt of 96 degrees.
On March 13,1781, William Herchel discovered a new comet, or at least that's how he labeled it at first. Also, this ball of gas had been spotted many times, but was often mistaken to be a star before it was actually classified as a planet.
Moons of Uranus
- Has 27 moons.
- Third planet with the most moons.
|Name||Discovery Date||Discoverer||Distance from Uranus (103 km)||Orbital Period (days)||Mass (1020 kg)||Radius (km)|
|Miranda (UV)||1948||G. Kuiper||129.39||1.413479||0.66||240 x 234.2 x 232.9|
|Ariel (UI)||1851||W. Lassel||191.02||2.520379||13.5||581.1 x 577.9 x 577.7|
|Umbriel (UII)||1851||W. Lassel||266.30||4.144177||11.7||584.7|
|Titania (UIII)||1787||W. Herschel||435.91||8.705872||35.2||788.9|
|Oberon (UIV)||1787||W. Herschel||583.52||13.463239||30.1||761.4|
|Cordelia (UVI, S/1986 U7)||1986||Voyager 2||49.77||0.335034||20|
|Ophelia (UVII, S/1986 U8)||1986||Voyager 2||53.79||0.376400||21|
|Bianca (UVIII, S/1986 U9)||1986||Voyager 2||59.17||0.434579||27|
|Cressida (UIX, S/1986 U3)||1986||Voyager 2||61.78||0.463570||40|
|Desdemona (UX, S/1986 U6)||1986||Voyager 2||62.68||0.473650||32|
|Juliet (UXI, S/1986 U2)||1986||Voyager 2||64.35||0.493065||47|
|Portia (UXII, S/1986 U1)||1986||Voyager 2||66.09||0.513196||68|
|Rosalind (UXIII, S/1986 U4)||1986||Voyager 2||69.94||0.558460||36|
|Cupid (S/2003 U2)||2003||74.8||0.618||12|
|Belinda (UXIV, S/1986 U5)||1986||Voyager 2||75.26||0.623527||40|
|Puck (UXV, S/1985 U1)||1985||Voyager 2||86.01||0.761833||81|
|Mab (S/2003 U1)||2003||97.7||0.923||16|
|Caliban (UXVI, S/1997 U1)||1997||Kavelaars, Gladman, Holman, et. Al||7230||579.5*||48|
|Stephano (UXX, S/1999 U2)||1999||Kavelaars, Gladman, Holman, et. Al||8002||676.5*||10|
|Sycorax (UXVII, S/1997 U2)||1997||Kavelaars, Gladman, Holman, et. Al||12,179||1283.4*||95|
|Margaret (UXXIII, S/2003 U3)||2003||14,345||1694.8||6|
|Prospero (UXVIII, S/1999 U3)||1999||Kavelaars, Gladman, Holman, et. Al||16,418||1992.8*||15|
|Setebos (UXIX, S/2001)||1999||Kavelaars, Gladman, Holman, et. Al||17,459||2202.3*||15|
|Trinculo (UXXI, S/2001 U1)||2001||8571||758.1*||5|
What about the Climate?
- Metric: -216 degrees C
- English: -357 degrees F
- Gets its blue tint color from methane.
- Uranus is the only giant planet whose equator is nearly at right angles to its orbit.
- A lot of what we know about Uranus was discovered by Voyager 2 flyby in 1986.
The Methane gas in the atmosphere absorbs red wavelengths from a reflected sunlight which gives Uranus its color.  It is composed of 83% hydrogen, 15% helium, and 2% methane. Both Uranus and Neptune are known to be Ice Giants. This may be because of Uranus' unusual tilt which causes the polar regions to take in more energy from the Sun than its equatorial at its equator than its poles.
The tilt of Uranus plays a huge role on the plant's weather and day/night cycles.  What may have caused this tilt?  Many Astronomers think that there was a collision of large proto-planet smashed into Uranus billions of years ago. "During the point of Uranian solstices, one pole faces the sun continuously, while the other pole faces away. This causes each pole to experience 42 years of continuous sunlight, then 42 years of continuous darkness. However, there is only a thin strip of Uranus' surface that experience this kind of cycle.
In 1851 John Hershel named the moons; he named the moons after Shakespeare's characters.By 1986, Voyager 2 discovered about ten more moons. One recent moon that have been detected by the Voyager's spacecraft is named, Puck. It is classified as one of the largest moons on Uranus.
Uranus' Magnetic Field
Uranus possesses one of the oddest magnetic fields in the solar system. Like all the giant planets, it generates its own powerful magnetic field. However, the north-south axis of Uranus’ magnetic field is tilted 60 degrees to the rotation axis. The center of the magnetic field is not at the center of the planet; it is offset from the center by about a third of the planet’s radius. That may mean that it is not generated within Uranus’ core, but rather at a shallower depth. Voyager 2 found that, because of the extreme tilt of Uranus, the planet’s magnetotail is wound into a corkscrew shape stretching 10 million kilometers behind the planet.
- "Uranus." Uranus Facts. CyberAstronomy. 7 Oct 2008 <http://mars.sgi.com/worlds/CyberMarz/Uranus/HTML/index.html>.
- "Facts and Pictures of Uranus." Space Topics. 1993-2008. The Planetary Society. 7 Oct 2008 <http://www.planetary.org/explore/topics/uranus/facts.html>.
- Arnett, Bill. "Uranus." Nine Planets. Oct. 6 2008. 7 Oct 2008 <http://www.nineplanets.org/uranus.html>.
- "Uranus." StarDate. September 13 2008. The University of Texas McDonald Observatory. 12 Oct 2008 <http://stardate.org/resources/ssguide/uranus.html>.
- Munsell, Smith, Davis, Kirk, Harman, Phil. "Uranus." Solar System Exploration. June 25,2008. National Aeronautics and Space Administration. 12 Oct 2008 <http://solarsystem.nasa.gov/planets/profile.cfm?Object=Uranus&Display=OverviewLong>.
- Angrun, Andrea. "Moons." Voyager The interstellar Mission. January 14 2003. Jet Propulsion Laboratory. 12 Oct 2008 <http://voyager.jpl.nasa.gov/science/uranus_moons.html>.
*http://www.aerospaceguide.net/planeturanus.html *http://burro.cwru.edu/stu/uranus_moons.html *http://solarsystem.nasa.gov/planets/profile.cfm?Object=Uranus
JPsavath 04:06, 13 October 2008 (UTC)- James Burns
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